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Video: Pioneering cell biologist wins young scientist award


8 November 2013



The Institute of Cancer Research, London’s Dr Chris Bakal has won the 2013 British Association of Cancer Research (BACR)-AstraZeneca Young Scientist Frank Rose Award for his groundbreaking research to understand the way cancer cells change shape and spread around the body.

The award, given annually in recognition of a record of outstanding achievement of a young scientist in the field of cancer research, was presented to Dr Bakal at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) conference in Liverpool this week.

You can watch Dr Bakal discussing his career highlights and thoughts on winning this award in our video.

Dr Bakal, a Team Leader in the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)’s Division of Cancer Biology, studies the biological switches that cause cells to change shape, become cancerous and move around the body. The Frank Rose award recognises his contribution to understanding how these switches work, which could one day lead to treatments that can halt the spread of cancer. Around nine in ten cancer deaths are caused by metastatic disease.

Since joining the ICR in 2009, his team have published several important discoveries, including a recent study in Nature Cell Biology which identified genes that allow melanoma cells – a type of skin cancer cell – to change rapidly between two shapes in order to spread around the body.

Dr Bakal is a Wellcome Trust Fellow and holds research grants from institutions including Cancer Research UK and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

On receiving the 2013 British Association of Cancer Research (BACR)-AstraZeneca Young Scientist Frank Rose Award, Dr Bakal said: “I was delighted to learn I’d won this award, and it’s particularly pleasing that it comes from the British Association of Cancer Research, which is made up of all my peers in the UK. It’s important recognition not just for me, but for my team.”

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