Cancer Research UK scientist lands prestigious Lister Institute Prize

In collaboration with the Press Association

Cancer Research UK scientist Dr Grant Stewart has been awarded the prestigious annual Lister Institute Research Prize.

The prize of £200,000 awarded over five years is only presented to a handful of outstanding young scientists each year to help them develop their research careers.

Dr Stewart, based at the Cancer Research UK Institute for Cancer Studies at the University of Birmingham, won the 2009 award to fund research into how cells recognise and repair different types of DNA damage - in particular a type of DNA damage called 'double strand breaks'.

This award will finance a post-doctoral research fellow for three years to investigate the role of a particular protein found in humans called RNF168, which is a player in the pathways that repair double strand DNA breaks.

Dr Stewart said: "I am thrilled to receive this prize. It will go a long way in helping us further our research into the pathways that cause cancer."

He explained: "To date we have already made some interesting discoveries into the role this fascinating protein RNF168 plays during the cellular response to DNA double strand breaks - but there are still many questions to answer.

"This research grant will help us answer intriguing questions that will give us insight into some of the underlying causes of cancer - for example whether mutations in the RNF168 gene contribute to the development of leukaemia or breast cancer?"

Dr Stewart previously received a Cancer Research UK Career Development Fellowship in 2005 that allowed him to start up his own group - a team consisting of himself, a post-doc, a full time Ph.D. student and a technician doing a part-time Ph.D.

The Lister Institute was founded in 1891 and has operated as a medical research charity for more than 100 years. The Lister Institute Research Prize Fellowship scheme was launched in 2004 as the Lister Institute's standard way of funding biomedical research.