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Published: 2017-06-30 08:47 | Updated: 2017-06-30 08:47

Erik K Fernström prize awarded to cancer researcher Óscar Fernandez-Capetillo

Óscar Fernandez-Capetillo, professor of cancer therapy at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics has been awarded the prize for his pioneering research on how DNA damage can lead to cancer and ageing.

Óscar Fernandez-Capetillo researches replicative stress and replicative damage to DNA – in other words, the irregularities that occur when DNA copies itself during cell division. Such damage causes both ageing and cancer. Fernandez-Capetillo’s research interest lies in what causes this replicative stress and how cells discover and repair the resulting damage, a process in which the enzyme ATR kinase plays a key role. He has shown, for instance, that replicative stress accelerates ageing in mammals, and that ATR-blockers are a future cancer drug candidate. His group at Karolinska Institutet is also working on developing a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Óscar Fernandez-Capetillo was born in 1974. He was made professor of cancer therapy at KI on 1 January 2015.

The Erik K Fernström prize

The Eric K. Fernström Foundation was established in 1978 and annually awards a Nordic prize and six prizes to young and particularly promising researchers who have made outstanding contributions to medical science. Each medical faculty of the country elects its prize-winner.