Die vorgestellten Projektteams und Projekte zeichnen sich neben ihrer wissenschaftlichen Exzellenz und Innovationskraft durch praktische Erfahrung in der Zusammenarbeit von Wissenschaft mit Wirtschaft aus.
Der “Janssen Special Award” wird für Projekte mit besonderer Relevanz für die Gesundheitsversorgung in Zukunft vergeben.
Eliminate tumors by turning off their energetics
We aim to exploit the differences between cancer and normal cells in the way they produce energy to specifically target tumors. We have recently identified a safe metabolic approach that exhibits strong anti-cancer effects in several models. We will design and validate small molecules to activate this pathway for therapeutic intervention in cancer.
The challenge in cancer therapy is to identify how cancer cells differ from normal ones and to exploit this knowledge to specifically target tumors. One such important difference is the way cancer cell and normal cells produce their energy. In 1920s the work of Otto Warburg identified a major difference in the way cancer and normal cells generate their energy. Energy production is a crucial process for cells and particularly for cancer cells to fuel their rapid growth. However, a century later and despite considerable efforts, until now only handful drugs targeting this differences in energy production of cancer have made it to clinical use. My recent data published in the Journal of Cancer Cell (IF=27.3) identified a potential reason for the failure of previous attempts to target cancer bioenergetics. Importantly, my work unraveled a novel molecular pathway with several drugable switches. Genetic targeting of this pathway exhibits strong anti-cancer properties. I aim to exploit this knowledge to design and validate novel small molecules to modulate this pathway in order to interfere with energy production in cancer cells for therapeutic intervention in cancer.