Indian researcher wins prestigious fellowship at University of Dundee

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  • Dr Sourav Banerjee has been awarded the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship for his research into the diagnosis and detection of stage IV brain cancer

The University of Dundee, a world-renowned research-based University in Scotland has awarded an Indian researcher ‘Dr Sourav Banerjee’ the ‘UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship’ for his research into the diagnosis and detection of stage IV brain cancer. Dr Banerjee is a part of the Dundee’s School of Medicine which is concerned with medical education and clinical research at the University. The £1.49 million award will allow Dr Banerjee to collaborate with researchers and clinicians at the Universities of Dundee and Edinburgh, Imperial College London, and the Mayo Clinic USA. 

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Glioblastoma multiforme of Stage IV glioma has very poor survival with very limited prognosis. Currently only one out of five patients will survive longer than five years of stage IV brain cancer diagnosis. Dr Banerjee’s research is focussed on the role of extracellular post-translational modifications in regulating Glioblastoma multiforme progression. Multiple extracellular substrates like growth factors, interleukins and cytokines are highly overexpressed and phosphorylated during the progression of glioma malignancy. The laboratory will focus on elucidating the oncogenic role(s) of those extracellular phosphorylation’s and identify novel predictive and prognostic biomarkers for glioblastoma. His research will strive to establish predictive, prognostic, and therapeutic biomarkers of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). The research will also strive to establish a blood-test to detect progression of low-grade to high-grade brain tumours, a development that could transform the prospects for brain cancer patients.

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Upon receiving the most prestigious award Dr Sourav Banerjee, Principal Investigator Cellular Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Dundee said, “I am elated by the confidence UKRI has shown in my research programme. The funding will allow me to take my ideas forward and establish novel therapeutic paradigms for GBM patients. I thank the Future Leaders Fellowship team, mentors, and all my collaborators and colleagues at Dundee and beyond for their continuing support.”

UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said, “The Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with the freedom and generous long-term support to progress adventurous new ideas, and to move across disciplinary boundaries and between academia and industry. The fellows announced today provide shining examples of the talented researchers and innovators across every discipline attracted to pursue their ideas in universities and businesses throughout the UK, with the potential to deliver transformative research that can be felt across society and the economy.”

Mrs Judith Hare, Retired Human Resources administrator at University, recently raised funds to support Sourav’s research in memory of her late husband Ron Hare who lost the battle to GBM.

Further commenting on this research Judith said, “I have known Sourav for over 10 years and I will remain a strong advocate for his research work. I am sure the funds from UKRI will take him to new heights to combat this deadly disease.”

Dr Banerjee is one of 84 next-generation research leaders awarded a portion of a £98 million fund to tackle global issues and commercialise innovations as part of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.

Originally from India, Dr Banerjee did his PhD studies in Dundee followed by a post-doctoral scholarship at University of California San Diego. Sourav returned to Dundee as part of a Baxter Fellowship Programme at the University and started his independent laboratory in March 2020. 

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish.

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