Assar Gabrielsson Award to young cancer researcher
The 2014 Assar Gabrielsson Award is presented to Doctor of Medicine Marta Persson for her research into how normal cells can turn into cancer cells. By combining basic cancer research with clinical information, the results can boost the development of better treatment for patients with salivary gland tumours. Marta Persson will receive the award and 50,000 kronor.
Cancer is a condition caused by various types of damage to the genetic material (DNA). One such change is the emergence of fusion oncogenes, which can occur when damage is repaired incorrectly so that the genetic material from two chromosomes joins together. Increased knowledge about the links between fusion oncogenes and cancer is therefore important in order to understand how cancer occurs, which in turn can promote new and better treatment methods.
“Marta Persson has in particular studied the molecular and clinical significance of the existence of fusion oncogenes. She has obtained results that may be significant in the treatment of the most common form of cancer in the salivary gland,” says Eva Forssell-Aronsson, Executive Member of the Assar Gabrielsson Foundation.
In her doctoral thesis at University of Gothenburg, Marta Persson successfully linked together clinical information about patients with laboratory-based analyses. She currently holds a post-doctoral position in Professor Göran Stenman’s research team at the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center and is working on a project that is a direct continuation of her thesis speciality – adenoid cystic carcinoma (a malignant salivary gland tumour).
Assar Gabrielsson was one of the founders of Volvo, together with Gustaf Larson. In accordance with Assar Gabrielsson’s wishes, a foundation to provide funding for clinical research into cancer diseases was created in 1962. The foundation aims particularly at furthering cancer research together with Gothenburg University. The Assar Gabrielsson Award also offers a research grant of SEK 100,000. AB Volvo has contributed to the fund’s capital and the fund is now able to contribute about five million kronor annually in research grants to young cancer researchers.