Ludwig Cancer Research extends its congratulations to Johanna Joyce, who is part of an international multidisciplinary team that has been named a recipient of the Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge award. The Grand Challenge has issued a series of £20 million grants to four international research teams working on distinct projects, each of which addresses a critical gap in cancer research and treatment. Johanna, at the Lausanne Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, joins a team charged with developing an interactive virtual reality map of breast cancer that identifies and analyses every cell in such tumors.
Led by Greg Hannon of the University of Cambridge, the team will have access to high-quality breast cancer samples collected from women involved in the METABRIC study. The researchers will use this resource to collect information about every single cell in a tumor—from cancer cells to immune cells—to chart out how each is arranged relative to other cells, and how they all interact with and influence each other to support tumor survival and growth. They will then use this information to construct a 3D version of breast tumors that can be studied in virtual reality, an immersive environment that should yield significant insights than cannot be obtained via two-dimensional mapping. Medical specialists and scientists will also be able to use the map to examine any given tumor at the same time and work together, no matter where they’re located, to help diagnose and treat patients.
We have no doubt Johanna will have much to offer this ambitious effort, and wish her the best in this exciting endeavour.