Published: 27-10-2020 15:02 | Updated: 15-02-2021 10:51

Three researchers at MBB awarded Blue Sky Grant to explore cancer in 3D

The Blue Sky Grant for Innovative Cancer Research is a one-year grant, providing SEK 500 000, to support projects aimed at exploring new research territories and demonstrating proof of principle. This year the internal organisation Cancer Research KI has awarded six Blue Sky grants, three of them to researchers at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics (MBB).

Professor Per Uhlén, Senior Researcher Magda Bienko and Bennie Lemmens, Junior Group leader, at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics (MBB).

The researchers who received the grant at MBB are:

  • Professor Per Uhlén, for the project: "Improved Cancer Diagnosis with Multimodal 3D Imaging"
  • Senior Researcher Magda Bienko, for the project: "Targeting chromatin spatial dis-organization in cancer"
  • Junior Group leader Bennie Lemmens, for the project: "How cells start DNA replication: mechanisms and therapeutic potential"

Per Uhlén, Magda Bienko and Bennie Lemmens are developing novel technologies for mapping cancer processes in three-dimensional space, which can provide new opportunities to phenotypically characterize tumours and define when and where factors are needed to promote tumour growth, cell division, or genome integrity.

“Especially during these turbulent times, with restriction on movement and traveling, we realise how much location and 'being at the right place at the right time' impacts on our well-being – and this is equally true for cancer biology. Recent breakthroughs in imaging and DNA sequencing technologies allow researchers to literally zoom in on the molecular processes that drive cancer development and explore genetic diseases from many different angles”, says Bennie Lemmens, Junior Group leader at MBB. 

“I believe the growing interest in Blue Sky Grants highlights the success of the programme and our shared ambition to innovate cancer care at KI”, continues Bennie Lemmens.

Cancer Research KI was formed in 2019 when the KI Cancer network and the Strategic Research Programme in Cancer (StratCan) joined forces. Cancer Research KI serves as an umbrella organisation for cancer research at KI, which is comprised by more than 200 research groups at multiple campuses and departments.

About the Blue Sky Research Grant for Innovative Cancer Research

Projects awarded should be of a "high risk and high reward" nature, unable to attract conventional funding- and unrelated to applicant’s already funded projects. Different project-related costs are covered, excluding stipends. Projects are assessed on originality and potential impact by an external review.