Professor Hartmut Luecke wants to develop new drugs that can reactivate a defunct protein, called p53, found in over 50% of all cancers.
Hartmut Luecke is assistant director at the Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway in Oslo. His lab focuses on using structural biology to facilitate drug discovery.
A drug that can kick this protein, called p53, back into action has the potential to be a highly targeted treatment for many different types of cancer.
Using their expertise in biochemistry, the Luecke lab have already produced drug molecules that are able to correct a common fault in p53, which they now want to take forward with further testing. Ultimately, they hope to identify the most effective drug molecule that in the future could be taken into clinical trials. The team will start off by creating a variety of drug molecules with slightly different chemical structures to find out which one is the most effective at reactivating p53. They will then test how good this drug is at killing cancer cells in the lab- a necessary stage before the drug can be tested in animals and then patients.