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Professor Alex Breeze

Professor Alex BreezeResearch Institution: Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds

Award: £180,000  Duration: 2 years

Project Title: Allosteric inhibitors of the Ras-activating exchange factor SOS

Project Aims: The aim of this project is to develop new compounds to block a vicious cycle of signals that occurs in cancer between two proteins called SOS and Ras. Usually, SOS tells Ras to switch on, help a cell divide and then switch off; but when Ras mutates, it becomes permanently switched on and causes cells to divide uncontrollably. Mutated Ras is found in 90 per cent of pancreatic tumours, but blocking it with drugs has not been possible. The team aims to show they can target SOS instead of Ras to block this abnormal interplay of signals.