MEL-PLEX Partner Danish Cancer Society Research Center award prestigious LEO Foundation funding

MEL-PLEX partner Prof Francesco Cecconi  and his team at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center was awarded DKK 3,820,000.00 (~ €515,000.00) over the next 3 years to support the project entitled “The pro-autophagic tumor suppressor AMBRA1 as a novel therapeutic target for melanoma”.

The LEO foundation stated that:

The LEO Foundation has supported this project in appreciation of the fact that malignant melanoma has the highest death toll among skin cancer. 

If and when melanoma is not diagnosed and treated early, the cancer may develop and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes harder to treat and potentially fatal. Therefore, work to find new therapeutic targets for this particular aggressive cancer type is of extreme importance.

Prof. Francesco Cecconi and his team have extensive and comprehensive expertise on the molecular ‘switch’ AMBRA1, believed to play a significant role in the body’s own defense against diseases such as cancer.

Prof. Cecconi, as an example, was the first to identify the AMBRA1 gene and has been unraveling its multiple functions over the last 10 years. In particular, he has already demonstrated AMBRA1 playing a role as tumor suppressor in vivo, and preliminary data indicates the gene’s supposed role as a therapeutic target in cancer. Very intriguingly, most AMBRA1 mutations were found in melanoma patients.

The LEO Foundation finds this project to be innovative and commends its multidisciplinary approach, putting together different fields of research ranging from cell biology, mouse genetics, biophysics, computational biology and CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

Additional information can be found here.

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