Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has launched the second phase of its Grand Challenge program, which awards funding to interdisciplinary research teams from around the world to help address some of the key issues in fundamental cancer research, diagnosis, drug discovery and development. In February CRUK announced the four teams, and their projects, which were selected to share in the first, £71-million tranche of funding. The charity has now thrown down the gauntlet to researchers worldwide to get together and devise projects addressing eight new key challenges.

CRUK claims that Grand Challenge initiative, which will award a series of £20-million grants over five years, is the most ambitious cancer research grant program in the world. Recipients of second-phase awards will be announced in the latter half of 2018. Commenting on this latest call for research proposals, CRUK Chief Executive Sir Harpal Kumar stated, “Grand Challenge is breaking down barriers and accelerating progress. By bringing together some of the world’s leaders in cancer research, we’ve come up with eight key challenges that, if answered, could see research leap ahead at new speeds. We want to unite previously separate researchers whether in academia or industry and create a movement of research without borders.”

Rick Klausner, Grand Challenge advisory panel member and former director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, added, “This second phase of Grand Challenge is incredibly exciting. We were overwhelmed with the teams who came forward for the first round. Now, with a renewed set of questions, we have pushed into new areas requiring new approaches and new collaborations. We look forward to the research community rising to this set of challenges, putting their best and brightest minds to the task of game-changing breakthroughs.”

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