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Georg Winter joins global Cancer Grand Challenges team taking on solid tumours in children


Georg Winter

The team, which is co-led by Martin Eilers of the University of Würzburg, Germany, and Yaël Mossé of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, US, will receive up to $25m over five years to take on the challenge of solid tumours in children.

A global, interdisciplinary team of researchers, including CeMM PI Georg Winter, has been selected to receive a Cancer Grand Challenges award of up to $25m over five years to tackle the solid tumours in children challenge. The Cancer Grand Challenges KOODAC team is co-led by Martin Eilers of the University of Würzburg, Germany, and Yaël Mossé of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, US.

Cancer Grand Challenges is a global funding platform, co-founded by Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute in the US, that supports a community of diverse, global teams to come together, think differently and take on some of cancer’s toughest challenges.

Cancer remains a leading cause of death due to disease among children globally, and outcomes for some childhood cancers have not improved in more than 30 years. Treatments for solid tumours in children still rely on decades-old chemotherapies, and often radiotherapy. Team KOODAC will take on this challenge along with team PROTECT. The teams will use protein degradation strategies to target previously undruggable drivers of children’s cancers. A drug(s) that could emerge from these programmes, could revolutionise the field and transform the lives of those affected by that particular cancer type.

"Drivers of solid tumours in children are by and large considered to be outside the reach of traditional drug discovery efforts. In our Cancer Grant Challenge Consortium, we aim to change this paradigm by developing a new type of drugs, so-called degraders. These degraders will reprogram cellular degradation machinery to eliminate oncoproteins that drive high risk pediatric solid cancers", said Georg Winter.

The KOODAC team unites clinicians, advocates and scientists with expertise in structural biology, chemical biology, paediatric oncology and medicinal chemistry, across 10 institutions and five countries. The team is funded by Cancer Research UK, Institut National Du Cancer and KiKa (Children Cancer Free Foundation) through Cancer Grand Challenges.

“Together with our network of visionary partners and research leaders, Cancer Grand Challenges unites the world's brightest minds across boundaries and disciplines and aims to overcome cancer’s toughest problems,” said Dr. David Scott, Director of Cancer Grand Challenges. “With this investment, our largest to date, we continue to grow our global research community, and fund new teams that have the potential to surface discoveries that could positively impact cancer outcomes.” Find out more: