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Dr Gareth Inman

A DUNDEE-BASED scientist has been awarded £202,807 by AICR to investigate what makes our bodies' natural cancer fighting cells turn dangerous.

Dr Gareth Inman, Reader and Group Leader at the University of Dundee's Biomedical Research Institute at the University of Dundee will use his three-year grant from AICR to study a protein called TGF-beta which he has previously shown to have anti-tumour properties and  restricts cell growth and division.

He said: “Healthy cells grow and multiply in a tightly controlled manner. Cancer occurs when the cells become able to proliferate in an uncontrolled manner, leading to the development of tumours”.

“However, during the growth of some tumours, they are able to switch TGF-beta from being anti-cancer to pro-cancer but how, when and where this occurs is still unclear”.

“Thanks to my AICR funding, my team and I are now investigating this important switch further, in an effort to understand the mechanisms behind it”.

“In the UK funding to drive these efforts comes largely from the voluntary sector so support of visionary cancer charities such as the AICR is crucial to help us to win the battle to defeat cancer"

Dr Lara Bennett, AICR's Science Communications Manager said: “Understanding the basic biology of how cancer begins is absolutely critical in the quest to develop and deliver more effective and individually-tailored cancer therapies for the patient.  That is why AICR is committed to funding cutting-edge basic and bench to bedside cancer research.  We fund the best cancer research proposals we receive, regardless of where in the world the research takes place. ”

"What I like about AICR is that the review process is very strong. When you see the names on the SAC and the reviewers that give feedback, they are very high quality, and you can have full confidence in the judgments that are made. The only limitation is that there should be more money. Then more of these projects could be awarded grants, because the quality is really good."

Dr Jos Jonkers, Netherlands Cancer Institute (Former SAC member)

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