Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Young cancer researcher receives 16 million SEK grant from the EU's new research council

19.12.2007
Martin Bergö, Associate Professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, is to receive a grant equivalent to 16 million SEK from the EU for studies into cancer and accelerated ageing.

His research project came out on top in tough competition with other leading young European researchers.

This funding, called the Starting Grant, is being awarded for the first time by the newly-established research funding body, the European Research Council (ERC). The aim of the ERC is to promote scientific excellence in Europe by supporting the best researchers with relatively large research grants. Only a small percentage of nearly 10 000 researchers who submitted an application last spring was successful.

"This grant means that we are regarded as occupying the absolute cutting edge of European research in our field, and it is important for both the Sahlgrenska Academy and Göteborg University. For me personally the grant means that I can focus more closely on my research during the next five years and expand my research team," says Associate Professor Martin Bergö.

Martin Bergö is studying two different diseases: cancer and accelerated ageing (progeria). Cancer is a common disease whilst progeria is a rare genetic disease. Children with progeria are born normal but show premature signs of ageing; they stop growing, lose their hair and develop cardiovascular diseases. They seldom survive beyond the age of 16. At present there is no treatment, but Martin Bergö has, together with a research team in the USA, identified a new treatment strategy which is currently being tested on children with progeria. The research has also provided a new genetic method of studying the underlying mechanisms and the treatment of cancer.

"My vision is that the research will lead to a better understanding of the causes of cancer and progeria and to find new treatments. We also hope that our studies into progeria will provide us with new information about the factors that govern normal ageing," adds Martin Bergö.

What is the link between cancer and progeria? Both diseases are caused by mutations in what is known as a CAAX protein. Martin Bergö's research has gone a step further and shown that both diseases can be treated with the same type of drug. The CAAX proteins that cause progeria and cancer are transported to a variety of intracellular locations. The transport of CAAX proteins is regulated by a number of enzymes. Martin Bergö is testing the hypothesis that cancer and progeria can be treated by using drugs that block some of these enzymes. The aim of treatment is to prevent the mutated CAAX proteins being transported to the locations within the cell where they cause damage.

To test this hypothesis, the research team has developed genetically modified mice that develop progeria and various forms of cancer. The unique aspect of the group's mouse models is that it is also possible to stop the production of the enzymes that govern the transport of the mutated CAAX proteins.

"When we stopped the production of one of the enzymes, the rate of tumour development dropped sharply in mice with cancer, and there are early indications that we can reduce the incidence of bone fractures which are common in mice with progeria. But even if our research suggests that drugs that block these enzymes can be effective future treatment for both diseases, there is much research left to do. Therefore, the money from the ERC is extremely welcome," says Martin Bergö.

Martin Bergö studied medicine in Umeå and defended his doctoral thesis in medical biochemistry in 1998. Following his doctorate he was recruited for postdoctoral training at the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, USA, where he spent five very productive years. For the past 3 years Martin Bergö has lived in Kungsbacka outside Göteborg and has led a research team at the Wallenberg Laboratory, Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University.

For further information, please contact:
Associate Professor Martin Bergö, telephone: +46 733 12 22 24, +46 31 342 78 58, +46 300 26226; e-mail: martin.bergo@wlab.gu.se

Pressofficer Ulrika Lundin; ulrika.lundin@sahlgrenska.gu.se; +46-70 775 88 51

Ulrika Lundin | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>