Introducing new Scientific Committee member, Dr Tom Misteli

25 July 2023
"Cancer Grand Challenges is an opportunity to ask the questions we always wanted to ask," Tom Misteli, Cancer Grand Challenges Scientific Committee.

We are pleased to welcome Dr Tom Misteli of the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research, USA, to the Cancer Grand Challenges Scientific Committee. Tom will join the other 14 members of the Scientific Committee this week as they come together to review applications from international research teams hoping to take on one of our nine new cancer grand challenges.  

Tom is an NIH Distinguished Investigator and the Director of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute. Tom brings his expertise as a cell biologist to the Scientific Committee, having pioneered the exploration of the 3D organisation of the human genome.  

His laboratory has developed and uses live-cell imaging methods to study genes and proteins in living cells and his work has uncovered some of the fundamental principles that determine genome organisation in physiological processes; in disease, including cancer; and in ageing.   

Through his study of cellular processes both in healthy cells and in disease, Tom has developed a deep appreciation for the many ways diseases can emerge and the many possible ways cellular processes can be targeted for translation to therapeutic use. 

As a member of the Scientific Committee, he is excited to see “exceptional science that will inspire”. 

“Nobody becomes a scientist to ask the easy questions. We are fascinated by the difficult ones, but we cannot always pursue them. Cancer Grand Challenges is an opportunity to ask the questions we always wanted to ask,” says Tom. 

At the meeting this week, the Scientific Committee will shortlist up to 12 teams who will each receive seed funding to develop their full applications to take on one of our nine new challenges. Shortlisted teams will be announced in September.  

“We are in a time of remarkable progress and innovation in biomedicine. Some of it is driven by singular technology developments, but much of it by interdisciplinary approaches. [In this round of applications,] I hope to see many new projects and strategies that take full advantage of the technical abilities we have and the synergetic ideas that emerge from working across discipline boundaries,” adds Tom. 

Find out more about the role of the Scientific Committee and meet its members here