Dan Grandér's Memorial Prize
The Dan Grandér Memorial Prize is awarded each year for the best dissertation in cancer research at Karolinska Institutet.
Dan Grandér began his research career in 1985, defended his thesis in 1991 and was at his passing in 2017 professor and Head of the Department of Oncology-Pathology. He dedicated his entire career to cancer research and especially cared for mentoring young researchers throughout that time.
When Dan Grandér passed away, a fund was instigated in his memory to honor the best dissertation in cancer research at Karolinska Institutet. The prize is awarded each calendar year. The awarded sum amounts to 50 000 SEK, of which at least 50% are to be used as research funding. The other 50% can be disposed freely by the awardee.
For exceptional work on the prevention of cervical cancer with important implications for women all over the world.
2020: Tania Costa, PAK4 signaling in development and cancer
Tania have explored the role of PAK4 in normal organ development and cancer. She established two mouse models with PAK4 depletion in the mammary gland and in the pancreas and a counterpart mouse model with PAK4 overexpression in the mammary epithelium. Her data showed that PAK4 confers selective advantages to cancer cells by overcoming the senescence barrier and through a crosstalk between PAK4 and NF-κB signaling. The results are thus highlighting PAK4 as an attractive therapeutic opportunity in cancer.
Nicholas demonstrates novel functions of the two enzymes NUDT5 and NUDT15 in oxidized nucleotide metabolism. Furthermore he shows that NUDT5 is an important regulator of hormone signaling, and that it could block thiopurine based chemotherapies to reduce their efficacy as cancer therapeutic agents. This led to the development of targeted NUDT5 inhibitors which might be used to potentiate cancer therapy.