Our research is geared to understanding cancer, its aberrant behaviour and control, and to translate our discoveries for the benefit of cancer patients. We also study the pre-malignant state, so as to understand risk and how to prevent and treat cancer.

The Edinburgh CRUK Centre integrates the latest technologies and multi-disciplinary approaches, addressing fundamental questions and big challenges in cancer research.

We aim to provide an inspiring training environment for scientists and clinicians.

News & Events

Exciting Job Opportunities in Noor Gammoh lab

There are exciting openings for postdoctoral research fellow and research assistant positions at the laboratory of Noor Gammoh (http://www.ecrc.ed.ac.uk/Researchers/item/Dr-Noor-Gammoh.html). The lab is interested in researching autophagy and its relevance in disease with particular emphasis on cancer. To learn more follow this link .

Cancer Centre Scientist admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Congratulations to Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta who has been recently admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement of the chemical sciences. This award is a great testimony to the quality and impact of work performed by Asier's "Innovative Therapeutics" Lab at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre at the University of Edinburgh. Recent highlights from his lab include rapid development of Src inhibitor with unique properties and pioneering bioorthogonally activated prodrug approaches to improve the efficacy and safety of cancer treatments.

Dr David Mellis - 2016 Bone Research Society Meeting Award

Congratulations to Dr David Mellis who won both the best oral poster and oral presentation at the 2016 Bone Research Society Meeting.


Best Oral poster pitch - David Mellis, Ubr5 suppresses heterotopic ossification

Best Poster - David Mellis, Ubr5 suppresses heterotopic ossification

Best Oral Presentation - Mark Ditzel, Ubr5 is a potent regulator of articular cartilage homeostasis


Meeting info:



ECRC scientists develop new Src inhibitor with unique properties

Congratulations to members of the Edinburgh Cancer Discovery Unit (ECDU) at the ECRC whose paper entitled “Rapid Discovery and Structure-Activity Relationships of Pyrazolopyrimidines That Potently Suppress Breast Cancer Cell Growth via SRC Kinase Inhibition with Exceptional Selectivity over ABL Kinase” has been recently published in the “Journal of Medicinal Chemistry” - a leading journal in the field of medicinal chemistry published by the American Chemical Society. The paper describes the development of a highly potent and orally bioavailable inhibitor of the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Src called, eCF506 (UK Patent Application GB1508747.1 submitted). In contrast to other Src inhibitors, eCF506 displays high selectivity towards Src tyrosine kinase without inhibiting many other kinases present in the cells. This is an important discovery because Src involvement in tumour progression and metastasis is well documented (Src was the first oncogene ever discovered in the human genome and its mutant constitutively-active form is transmitted by some oncogenic viruses). All other currently available Src-inhibitors (many of which are in clinical trials) do also inhibit other kinases, in particular Abl, which might result in lower anti-cancer activity in some tumour types and undesired side effects.

According to Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta; “eCF506 is the first drug candidate of a second generation of Src inhibitors that will not only help to understand the complexity of some cancers but also the development of safer combination therapies”. Another key feature of the article is the novel strategy used to discover eCF506, which represents a more rapid and cost effective approach compared with traditional drug discovery methods."

Professor Neil Carragher from the ECRC centre says; “The short time frame and reduced costs required to discover a potential drug candidate of the quality of eCF506 is unprecedented”. Implementation of new drug discovery approaches such as those being pioneered within the ECDU may contribute to increased efficiency of drug discovery, providing more effective medicines at reduced cost for patients and healthcare authorities such as the NHS”.

Obviously more investigations are required to further validate the inhibitor and to assess the potential clinical utility of eCF506, but the published research is a great testimony to quality and efficiency of work performed by the ECDU and represents the first drug discovery program developed in full (from initial idea and drug design to synthesis and biological evaluation) in the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre. We are confident that the ECDU and its directors (Asier Unciti-Broceta, Neil Carragher, Val Brunton and Margaret Frame ) will make every possible effort to maximise the utility and future impact of the exciting discoveries described in the paper.

Paper: Fraser C, Dawson JC, Dowling R, Houston DR, Weiss JT, Munro AF, Muir M, Harrington L, Webster SP, Frame MC, Brunton VG, Patton EE, Carragher NO, Unciti-Broceta A. Rapid Discovery and Structure-Activity Relationships of Pyrazolopyrimidines That Potently Suppress Breast Cancer Cell Growth via SRC Kinase Inhibition with Exceptional Selectivity over ABL Kinase. J Med Chem. 2016 May 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Link: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00065

University of Edinburgh news: http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2016/breast-cancer-drug-hope


Centre Directors

  • mf

    Prof Margaret Frame

    Science Director

  • david2Prof David Cameron

    Clinical Director

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