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Grand Cancer Challenges

Cancer Research UK plans to invest £100 million (US$153 million) over five years toward seven 'grand challenges,' Nature News reports.

A panel of independent international researchers brought together by CRUK identified these seven areas of focus, which range from developing a way to control MYC and delivering macromolecules to any cell in the body to mapping tumors at the molecular and cellular and distinguishing cancers that need treatment from those that don't.

"They're willing to take some risks and see some projects fail," Brian Druker from Oregon Health and Science University and a CRUK advisory board member tells ScienceInsider. Druker helped develop Gleevec.

Nature News notes that CRUK will continue to fund investigator-initiated grants as it also takes on the increasingly popular grand challenge-style approach. "There's a cultural change happening within biological sciences," Nic Jones, the charity's chief scientist, tells Nature News. "The idea is to be bold and take risks, and do things that might not work and might take a long time."

The deadline to apply is February 12, 2016, and while the teams may be international, they must include a UK component.