Imperial College London

Collaborative Cancer Research Group Receives President's Award Recognition

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Researchers hand with a pipette with medication in the background

Collaborative Cancer and Chemistry research team wins President's Award for Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the President's Medal.

Professor Charles Coombes and Professor Simak Ali from the Division of Cancer, along with colleagues Professor Anthony Barrett and Dr Matthew Fuchter in the Department of Chemistry have been recognised for their work on initiating a focused drug discovery effort that has led to the discovery of first-in-class drugs, which have been licensed for clinical development and commercialisation. The work has been recognised through the President’s awards due to the high economic impact to the College, Innovations and to Cancer Research UK.

This work has the potential to have a dramatic impact on the treatment of cancer across the world.

– President's award panel

After raising funds from Cancer Research UK and EPSRC the team established and coordinated a large group of research scientists with expertise in synthetic and medicinal chemistry, protein crystallography/structural biology, pharmacology and imaging, molecular pathology, cancer cell biology and phase 1 new drug development.

The team have not only made important scientific discoveries on the pathology of breast cancer, but critically, have effectively and expertly translated this knowledge into first-in-class agents for CDK7, which have huge potential to benefit breast cancer patients and provide much needed new cancer drugs for the treatment of resistant cancers including Tamoxifen-resistant and even triple negative breast cancers.

Comment from the panel on why the award was given:

Although the ultimate clinical impact is yet to be achieved, this is a very impressive body of work – the skill, energy and tenacity of the team in taking this innovation all the way from initial scientific discovery through to clinical development really stands out. It is also an excellent example of a collaborative effort. This work has the potential to have a dramatic impact on the treatment of cancer across the world.  

The award comes with a prize of £1500 and team members will be awarded their medal at next year’s spring Graduation Ceremony. 

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Kathryn Johnson

Kathryn Johnson
Department of Surgery & Cancer

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