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Three research teams from the University of Oxford, including those of Prof Frank von Delft, Professor for Structural Chemical Biology at NDM's Centre for Medicines Discovery and Dr Parinaz Mehdipour, Leadership Fellow at NDM’s Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, have been selected for the final stages of Cancer Grand Challenges.

In March, Cancer Grand Challenges announced nine new challenges, with 178 interdisciplinary, world- class global teams submitting bold ideas to take them on. Of the twelve shortlisted teams, the two from NDM are Dr Parinaz Mehdipour’s decrypTEd and Prof Frank von Delft’s PROTECT. They draw together a unique set of expertise and unite researchers from multiple countries. These interdisciplinary, global teams are now in with a chance of receiving up to $25m to make radical progress against some of cancer’s toughest challenges.

Each team will now receive seed funding to draft their full research proposal and compete for up to $25m in funding, empowering them to rise above the traditional boundaries of geography and discipline to ultimately change outcomes for people with cancer. If successful, Dr Mehdipour and Prof Von Delft, as part of their teams, would seek to tackle the challenges of retrotransposable elements (decrypTEd) and solid tumours in children (PROTECT). Funded teams will be announced in March 2024.

Dr David Scott, Director, Cancer Grand Challenges, said: ‘We had a fantastic response from the global research community who rose to the task and submitted bold and innovative ideas to take on our new challenges. We are pleased to have a shortlist of 12 teams whose proposed research approaches we believe hold the greatest potential to make the progress against these cancer challenges that we urgently need. I'm looking forward to seeing how the teams develop their approaches further in their full applications’.

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