Siim has been awarded £1.5 million to investigate the molecular machineries that provide stem cell-like characteristics to cancer stem cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. This type of cancer is one of the most lethal human malignancies and so it is very important to gain some insight into their mechanism of formation. Hopefully this research will uncover novel signal transduction pathways which could provide new targets for diagnosis and treatment. This is expected to be accomplished by utilising state-of-the-art cell culture methods with genome-wide techniques, proteomics, in vitro mechanistic studies and in vivo tumorigenesis experiments.
Under the mentorship of Professor Udo Oppermann, Siim, aims to establish himself as a group leader and independent researcher in stem cell and cancer research. The Botnar Research Centre will support him with the resources and research equipment required to run his research programme for the duration of the Fellowship and beyond.
Speaking of his award and future research, Siim said: “The CRUK Career Development Fellowship will provide outstanding support to me for establishing my research group. I am very glad. It is my hope that by combining stem cell biology and cancer research, we will uncover crucial aspects in cancer stem cell formation from a new angle. This insight will be essential for developing more efficient cancer therapeutics and bring us closer to conquering this deadly disease.”
The grant started in January 2018 and runs for six years.