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Cancer Drug Researcher Receives Royal Society of Chemistry Award


Friday 4 June 2010


Professor Paul Workman from The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has received a prestigious award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for his work in discovering exciting new anti-cancer drugs.


Professor Workman, Director of the Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at the ICR, has been given the 2010 RSC George & Christine Sosnovsky Award in Cancer Therapy in recognition of his “seminal research on the role of chaperone proteins in cellular processes and the application of this knowledge at the forefront of anti-cancer drug discovery".


Professor Workman’s research involves designing drugs with the ability to block molecules that are essential for cancer cells to grow and spread. This research at the ICR and elsewhere has led to the development of a number of new drugs that have entered clinical trials, including one that has already received FDA approval.


The Royal Society of Chemistry is the professional body for chemical scientists and the largest organisation in Europe dedicated to advancing the sector. Professor Workman is the seventh recipient of the award set up to recognise outstanding accomplishments in the prevention, control and cure of cancers using chemotherapy.


Professor Workman says: “I am really delighted and very honoured to receive this award for cancer therapy from the Royal Society of Chemistry. I hope it will also be seen as recognition of the important contributions made over the years by many talented students, postdoctoral researchers, colleagues and collaborators. Drug discovery is by its very nature a multidisciplinary scientific activity, especially the link between chemistry and biology. For me, this is one of the most important and exciting aspects of my research, along with the potential for helping cancer patients, and I could not have achieved what I have without enormous help from many people.”


ICR Chief Executive Professor Peter Rigby says: "Professor Workman heads the world’s leading academic cancer drug development team here at the ICR, which has discovered fourteen preclinical drug candidates over the past five years, with several of these already in the clinic. This is an unparalleled achievement. The innovativeness of Professor Workman's research is also very important, as shown by his team's publications on the discovery of new inhibitors of HSP90 and PI3 kinase, which have been licensed to major pharmaceutical companies. These various measures of success confirm that Professor Workman is truly deserving of this recognition.”


Professor Workman's work has been supported by Cancer Research UK through its largest ever programme grant to the Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at the ICR, and the charity today added its congratulations.


Professor Sir David Lane, Cancer Research UK's chief scientist, said: "Paul and his dedicated team at The Institute of Cancer Research richly deserve this honour. With Cancer Research UK's support he has shown that outstanding drug discovery for the treatment of cancer can happen within the academic and charitable sector. We are immensely proud of his work.”


Media Contact: Science Press Officer Jane Bunce on 0207 153 5106


The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)

  • The ICR is Europe’s leading cancer research centre
  • The ICR has been ranked the UK’s top academic research centre, based on the results of the Higher Education Funding Council’s Research Assessment Exercise
  • The ICR works closely with partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to ensure patients immediately benefit from new research. Together the two organisations form the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe
  • The ICR has charitable status and relies on voluntary income, spending 95 pence in every pound of total income directly on research
  • As a college of the University of London, the ICR also provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction
  • Over its 100-year history, the ICR’s achievements include identifying the potential link between smoking and lung cancer which was subsequently confirmed, discovering that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer and isolating more cancer-related genes than any other organisation in the world

For more information visit


Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research.
  • The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.  This work is funded entirely by the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last thirty years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of more than 4,800 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7121 6699 or visit

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