It is with great pleasure that we bring you the Fall 2023 issue of Ludwig Link. This is not only because we get to showcase Ludwig research, and the talent behind it, but because it’s a privilege to represent an organization with such an abundance of both.
That abundance accounts for a Research news section brimming with exquisite science. You’ll discover in here, for example, that the ratio of two proteins expressed by certain tumor-associated immune cells can serve as a proxy for whether the tumor microenvironment tilts toward supporting cancer growth or activating anti-cancer immunity, evincing a surprising coordination of gene expression programs across cell types within tumors. You will learn that estrogen not only fuels cancers but can induce genomic rearrangements to initiate malignant transformation, that a class of otherwise humdrum blood pressure medications can induce potent anti-tumor immune responses—and a great deal more.
We also, sadly, share news of the death of Mike Waterfield, who was director of the former Ludwig Branch at University College London, whose work on PI3 kinase and its role in cancer led to the launch of Ludwig’s first startup company. We offer our condolences to his family and friends and remember him with gratitude for his many contributions to cancer research.
Our Q&A in this issue is with Ludwig Oxford’s Richard White, who spoke with us about his fascinating work with zebrafish and equally interesting life. And, of course, we also have the usual news of awards, promotions and honors earned by Ludwig researchers. In our “Ask a scientist” section, researchers from across the global Ludwig community share their insights on what we can do to help build public support for scientific research.
We hope you enjoy this issue of the Ludwig Link as much as we enjoyed preparing it.