Scientists honoured for breast cancer gene breakthrough

TWO scientists who work at a South Mimms lab have been rewarded for their breakthrough discovery.

Drs Stephen West and Ulrich Rass, of CRUK London Research Institute’s laboratories, were awarded Breast Cancer Campaign’s Research Team of the Year prize.

The award comes after their research into the role a newly-discovered gene, called GEN1, plays in breast cancer.

The award-winning duo found the gene is needed to accurately repair damaged DNA in breast cells, stopping from them becoming cancerous and tumours developing.

Breast Cancer Campaign, a charity which funds cancer research in the UK, awarded Dr West �200,000 for his research project in 2009 for his three-year project which has now come to fruition.

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Dr West said they were delighted to be honoured.

He said: “The project has got off to an amazing start and we are looking forward to building on this very exciting discovery.

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“We hope that by unravelling exactly what the GEN1 gene does within the cell will have a massive impact on our understanding of these repair processes, which in turn will lead to new treatments and also help to identify people who are at high risk of inheriting this disease.”

Breast Cancer Campaign chief executive Pamela Goldberg said: “Our awards ceremony publicly recognises the amazing achievements and contributions made by our fundraisers, supporters and scientists over the last 12 months towards Breast Cancer Campaign’s research.

“Their support is essential to helping us achieve our mission of beating the disease.”

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