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Two IRB Barcelona researchers in teams shortlisted for Cancer Grand Challenges funding




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Drs. Cristina Mayor-Ruiz and Eduard Batlle from IRB Barcelona have been selected for the final stages of Cancer Grand Challenges as part of teams PLASTICITY-Tx (Mayor-Ruiz, Batlle) and PROTECT (Mayor-Ruiz). These interdisciplinary, global teams are now in with a chance of receiving up to $25m to make radical progress against some of cancer’s toughest challenges.

In March, Cancer Grand Challenges announced nine new challenges, with 178 interdisciplinary, world-class global teams submitting bold ideas to take them on. Teams PLASTICITY-Tx and PROTECT are amongst the 12 that have been shortlisted. They draw together a unique set of expertise and unite researchers from multiple countries.
Each team will now receive seed funding to draft their full research proposal and compete for up to $25m in funding, empowering them to rise above the traditional boundaries of geography and discipline to ultimately change outcomes for people with cancer.

If successful, Dr Mayor-Ruiz and Dr Batlle as part of their teams, would seek to tackle the challenges cancer cell plasticity (PLASTICITY-Tx), and solid tumours in children (PROTECT). Funded teams will be announced in March 2024.
"We had a fantastic response from the global research community who rose to the task and submitted bold and innovative ideas to take on our new challenges. We are pleased to have a shortlist of 12 teams whose proposed research approaches we believe hold the greatest potential to make the progress against these cancer challenges that we urgently need. I'm looking forward to seeing how the teams develop their approaches further in their full applications," says Dr David Scott, Director, Cancer Grand Challenges.


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About Cancer Grand Challenges
•    Cancer Grand Challenges, a funding initiative co-founded by Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the US, brings together a community of world-class researchers to make the progress against cancer we urgently need.   
•    Through a series of funding awards (up to £20m c. $25m), we give global teams of researchers the freedom to think differently, act creatively and take on some of the toughest challenges in cancer.  
•    Cancer Grand Challenges supports a global community of interdisciplinary, world-class research teams to come together, think differently and take on some of cancer’s toughest challenges.
•    These are the obstacles that continue to impede progress and no one scientist, institution or country will be able to solve them alone. Cancer Grand Challenges teams are empowered to rise above the traditional boundaries of geography and discipline to ultimately change outcomes for people with cancer.
•    The initiative currently supports 11 interdisciplinary teams across 10 countries, uniting over 700 investigators and collaborators.

About IRB Barcelona

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to cure cancer and other diseases linked to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society, and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 researchers and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).