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: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>