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The Centre for Protein Degradation

The Centre for Protein Degradation is a virtual centre coordinating all aspects of molecularly driven protein degradation, from concept to clinic, both within and beyond the ICR.

Group shot of the Centre for Protein Degradation team (around 20 people) outside the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery

Targeted protein degradation has emerged as a powerful and transforming approach to deliver new medicines for cancer patients, and our scientists have been amongst the pioneers in this field. MRT-2359, a drug currently undergoing Phase I clinical trial was discovered following a research programme at the ICR. In 2022, the Centre for Protein Degradation was established with generous philanthropic funding from Ruth and David Hill

The Centre for Protein Degradation aims are to:

  • discover new therapeutic approaches that explore targeted protein degradation for cancer patients
  • develop new protein degradation approaches.

The Centre for Protein Degradation has 17 dedicated posts (currently 11 filled) and is co-located and closely linked with the Centre of Cancer Drug Discovery. The Centre for Protein Degradation is designed to be very collaborative. Its members work with several leading cancer research teams in and outside the ICR and with clinical scientists at our hospital partner, The Royal Marsden, to achieve the Centre’s aims.

  

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Timeline

2016 - protein degradation research

The Centre for Protein Degradation was developed out of years of degraders research by our scientists in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics who have explored targeted degradation as therapeutic modality since 2016. This research led to the development of the spin-out company Monte Rosa Therapeutics, which is currently initiating a Phase I/II clinical trial of MRT-2359, a potent and selective GSPT1-directed molecular glue degrader.

2022 - initiation of the Centre and philanthropic donation

To widen the remit of this research and create more opportunities for collaboration, the Centre for Protein Degradation was initiated as an academic centre of excellence at the beginning of 2022. It subsequently received a £9 million philanthropic donation by David and Ruth Hill to fund and accelerate its expanding research.

2023 - fully operational

The Centre will be fully operational in 2023 and most of its staff are based in the brand-new, state of the art life science research facility building at the ICR campus in Sutton, London and co-located with the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery and the Centre for Target Validation.

Our research

Protein structure of CRBN-dBET6-BRD4

Our research at the Centre for Protein Degradation covers a number of themes, including the generation of libraries of compounds, the identification of new cereblon binding chemotypes, and using crystallography and cryo-EM to study ternary complexes.

Our research

Collaborations

Ellie Stammers wearing a lab coat working in the lab

At the Centre for Protein Degradation, we are committed to collaborating on all aspects of degrader research, with a strong focus on the joint discovery of small molecule degraders. Find out how to collaborate with us.

Collaborations

Meet the team

Group shot of the Centre for Protein degradation team

Meet our interim director Professor Swen Hoelder, our lead chemist Dr John Caldwell, our lead biologist Dr Habib Bouguenina and our project manager Dr Margot Wenzel as well as our research team.

Meet the team