15 days. 15 sites. 1500 miles.
The 2nd of September 2016 marked the start of the Siemens Big Summer Cycle 2016. The team of over 60 cyclists began their epic journey to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research, Alzheimer's Disease International and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, by cycling 1500 miles across Europe, stopping at 15 locations in 15 days.
During their first week, the team cycled through countries where our scientists are working to get the answers to cancer. Here are some of the exciting projects we’re funding that the team passed on their trip.
Dr Colin Adrain and his team at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC) are based just west of the Big Summer Cycle start point in Lisbon, Portugal. Dr Adrain is helping to understand how cancer develops by improving our understanding of a group of proteins called iRhoms, which have been linked to several different types of cancer. The research team are looking at how iRhom proteins might play a part in cancer cell growth and death.
Over the border in Spain, Dr Juan Carlos Morales and his team at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Madrid are trying to develop new and improved treatments for bowel cancer. Preliminary studies of the drugs MAR-308 and MAR-320 have shown effectiveness against breast and bowel cancer tumors grown in the lab, whilst also showing lower levels of toxicity towards healthy cells. Dr Morales and his team are looking to translate these findings into a potential cancer treatment by studying how the drugs work inside cells, in order to redesign the drugs for use in patients. The Siemens team was cheered on as they cycled close to Dr Morales' lab.
At the end of the first seven tough days of cycling, the team raced from Fontainebleau to Paris, France, where we have recently awarded a one-year research grant for Dr Valentina Boeva. She works at the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) where she is developing a new computer tool helping scientists to identify DNA ‘signposts’ in cancer cells.
In total, The Siemens Big Summer Cycle raised over £80,000 for charity.
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