Helleday Laboratory https://helleday.org Turning cancer defects into cures Thu, 19 Dec 2019 15:52:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2020 https://helleday.org/merry-christmas-and-happy-new-year-2020/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=merry-christmas-and-happy-new-year-2020 Wed, 18 Dec 2019 09:01:09 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2835 Another year comes to an end and it is time to look back and celebrate achievements, acknowledge setbacks and appreciate living science. At our annual Christmas party, Ulrika asked the team for some of their personal highlights in 2019.

Niklas pointed towards last years publication of “Spatial maps of prostate cancer transcriptomes reveal an unexplored landscape of heterogeneity” and the follow-up work that is still ongoing, wondering “There is still so much to learn. Bringing it to a level of a technique for higher numbers of patients would be the ultimate achievement.”

Maurice talked about how scientists sometimes struggle in having a breakthrough experiment the very night before a seminar about the same topic. In August 2019, on a late Wednesday evening, Carlos, Varshni and Maurice reproduced an experiment, that finally confirmed a hypothesis made months before. The results were presented the next morning – There is a first time for everything.

With a year ending, December traditionally is the month of many grant decisions. The research groups of Assistant Professors Nina Gustafsson and Sean Rudd will be funded by Barncancerfonden; for two and three years respectively. Further, Simin Zhang receives funding from the Felix-Minus Foundation for Leukemia Research. As a whole the lab is happy about three years of funding from Sjöbergstiftelsen and a positive mid-term evaluation of the ERC grant TAROX. Congratulations, well done and deserved. And with two manuscripts just accepted before Christmas and several submitted, the year comes to a good end and promises a good start for 2020. Great work everyone!

Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year 2020.

Medicinal Chemistry Projects available at The Helleday Laboratories Stockholm https://helleday.org/medicinal-chemistry-projects-available-at-the-helleday-laboratories-stockholm-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=medicinal-chemistry-projects-available-at-the-helleday-laboratories-stockholm-2 Wed, 27 Mar 2019 07:57:47 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2075 Medicinal Chemistry Projects available at The Helleday Laboratories Stockholm The Helleday lab is a multidisciplinary group based at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The group is composed of approximately 60 scientists with backgrounds in molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, molecular modelling, biochemistry, pharmacology (in vitro and in vivo) and clinical sciences. We have a number of […]]]>

Medicinal Chemistry Projects available at The Helleday Laboratories Stockholm

The Helleday lab is a multidisciplinary group based at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The group is composed of approximately 60 scientists with backgrounds in molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, molecular modelling, biochemistry, pharmacology (in vitro and in vivo) and clinical sciences.

We have a number of exciting projects to offer just now focused primarily on development of inhibitors of novel proteins involved in DNA repair and metabolism.

We work on highly novel targets so a significant biology effort is on identification and validation of these proteins as potential targets (eg shRNA knockdown, CRISPR and mechanistic studies). Typically we then screen to identify inhibitors using both fragment and HTS approaches. When possible we work closely with Pål Stenmark’s crystallography group at Stockholm University to provide detailed structural information that can help to drive hit-series into lead optimization. The small molecules produced are used to further validate targets in vitro and in vivo. Ultimately we seek to develop compounds with optimized pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties to test in animal models and evaluate targets therapeutically. The group has recently taken a first-in-class small molecule into phase 1 clinical studies in man.

The medicinal chemistry group consists of ca 12 medicinal chemists and a molecular modeler. Around half of the team have significant ex-industry experience. There is a very international mix and the working language is English. The scientific level here is truly excellent and this would be a great opportunity to learn from some extremely talented medicinal chemists who are focused on developing tomorrow’s oncology targets.

Lastly, the lab facilities are outstanding. The chemistry group is equipped with….

  • 2 x Preparative HPLC’s (Gilson)
  • 2 x MPLC’s (ISCO and Biotage)
  • 1 x Preparative SCF LC (Agilent)
  • 3 x LCMS (Finnegan and Agilent)
  • 2 x Parallel evaporators (Genovac)
  • 1 x Microwave reactor (Biotage)
  • 1 x NMR (Bruker 500 MHz)
  • A chemical stores comprising more than 10,000 reagents and building blocks (ex Pharmacia)
  • HTS and Fragment screening libraries (ca 500,000 cmpds)

Interested students should contact Martin Scobie (team leader medicinal chemistry)


Nicholas Valerie awarded with “Dan Grandér Memorial Prize” for best cancer related PhD thesis at KI https://helleday.org/nicholas-valerie-awarded-with-dan-grander-memorial-prize-for-best-cancer-related-phd-thesis-at-ki/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nicholas-valerie-awarded-with-dan-grander-memorial-prize-for-best-cancer-related-phd-thesis-at-ki Wed, 27 Feb 2019 08:38:00 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2704

Great news for our former PhD student Nicholas Valerie. As part of the inaugural “BioClinicum Cancer Research Meeting” he was awarded with the “Dan Grandér Memorial Prize” for the best cancer themed PhD thesis. The prize is honoring Professor Dan Grandér who passed away in 2017 and is endowed with 50.000 SEK. As a team we can not be happier to also be working with Nicholas in the future, since he is currently maintaining a PostDoc position in Lab of Brent Page with whom he has also worked on the NUDT5 project. Read his Thesis here: Roles of NUDT5 and NUDT15 beyond oxidized nucleotide sanitation and their potential as therapeutic targets

Sean Rudd receives Grants from VR and Karolinska to start own independent research https://helleday.org/sean-rudd-receives-grants-from-vr-and-karolinska-to-start-own-independent-research/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sean-rudd-receives-grants-from-vr-and-karolinska-to-start-own-independent-research Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:17:38 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2555

Great news only a few days short of the christmas break! First, Sean Rudd secures 6.000.000 SEK over the course of four years from VR. Then his establishment of a concept of targeting the SAMHD1 enzyme for improving today’s cancer treatments receives backup from Karolinska Institutet – another 4.000.000 SEK and an assistant professor position. What an amazing end of the year. Congratulations, well deserved.


Helleday lab on track to novel potent OGG1 inhibitors beyond TH5487 https://helleday.org/helleday-lab-on-track-to-novel-potent-ogg1-inhibitors-beyond-th5487/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=helleday-lab-on-track-to-novel-potent-ogg1-inhibitors-beyond-th5487 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 11:03:57 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2179

What a day at the lab! Today we published our groundbreaking story of potent and selective OGG1 inhibition in Science. In the article, which we describe more in detail in our Science section, we show how inhibition of OGG1, a DNA Repair enzyme, can help to suppress inflammation. Implied applications span from treatment of infections to the fight against neurodegenerative diseases. As it has been in the past, we follow an open innovation approach and thus we encourage interested researchers, medical doctors, citizens, foundations and companies to reach out and get to know more about the project and possible exciting collaborations. And that is not all: Cancerfonden granted the lab a stunning 7.500.000 SEK for the coming three years. Together with the decision of Vinnova to grant Oxcia AB a guaranteed 1.800.000 SEK and up to 5.000.000 SEK upon milestone achievement, the development of the OGG1 and other projects in collaboration with the lab pick up in speed. To celebrate this, Evert Homan created a 3D version of a video of TH5675 in co-crystal with OGG1 (the original article and video can be found in the Science section). So grab your 3D glasses!

Biberach students visit the labs https://helleday.org/biberach-students-visit-the-labs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=biberach-students-visit-the-labs Sat, 06 Oct 2018 10:34:12 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2131 On 25th of September a group of around 40 bachelor students of the Biberach University of Applied Sciences from Germany visited the HelledayLab. The university is known for its strong practical education in subjects such as pharmaceutical biotechnology and thus it is recommended for students to perform internships in pharmaceutical companies or academic settings. We organized an afternoon with project cases, lab tours and a mingle for one on one discussion over a poster and a classic swedish fika. We hope the students were as pleased with the event as we were and we sure hope to see some of them for an internship and maybe a bachelor thesis. It is always encouraging to talk to young people with their refreshing views and critical questions. Great day, welcome back! If you also wish to get in contact with us and find out about possibilities for internships, thesis research or a visit to the lab, get in touch with Maurice Michel and Carlos Benitez-Buelga.

Prize for best talk https://helleday.org/prize-for-best-talk/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=prize-for-best-talk Thu, 30 Aug 2018 07:30:09 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2126 At the Department of Oncology and Pathology Kick-Off event at Piperska Muren, Nadilly Bonagas and Nina Gustafsson won the prize for the best talk with “Targeting Metabolic Remodeling in AML”. The day offered exciting presentations, poster sessions, lively discussions and interaction with other Department members from clinical but also basic science background. This surely lays the foundation stone for future collaborations to enhance patience care. Well done everyone involved, thank you to the organizers for a great event! We will be back.

Summer is over, what is up next? https://helleday.org/summer-is-over-what-is-up-next/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=summer-is-over-what-is-up-next Thu, 23 Aug 2018 11:00:22 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2113 With the swedish summer being over and people returning to the lab, the second half of the academic year 2018 is starting with some exciting conferences and symposia. On 29th of August, the Department of Oncology and Pathology will “Kick-Off” the new semester at Piperska Muren, Kungsholmen. Many members of the Helleday lab will be […]]]>

With the swedish summer being over and people returning to the lab, the second half of the academic year 2018 is starting with some exciting conferences and symposia.

On 29th of August, the Department of Oncology and Pathology will “Kick-Off” the new semester at Piperska Muren, Kungsholmen. Many members of the Helleday lab will be around, presenting in talks and poster. Among them Nadilly Bonagas and Nina Gustafsson with a talk entitled “Targeting Metabolic Remodeling in AML” and Kumar Sanjiv with “Role of DNA polymerase kappa in MTH1 inhibitors mediated cytotoxicity in cisplatin resistant cancer cells”. Be sure to also catch up with the poster presenters and have a chat with people involved in the many impactful projects at the lab.

“Join us for the Merck and SciLife Medicinal Chemistry Symposium 2018”, this slogan really says it all. Be quick to register for the 5th of September at the SciLifeLab in Stockholm, and do not miss Nicholas Valerie and Nina Gustafsson presenting their latest research. The one day symposium will also feature talks by experts from north european universities and delegates from Merck, including the Global Head of Medicinal Chemistry Discovery Technologies.

Karl Vallin will represent the Team at the EFMC-ISMC 2018 in Ljubljana, from September 2nd to 6th. A whole week of the latest trends and breakthroughs in medicinal chemistry, which surely will boost our own research in the team. The conference is THE meeting for academic and industrial drug discovery research. For this trip Karl received funding from the Cancerfonden and will present his latest research.

The 22nd International Conference on Organic Synthesis from 16th to 21st of September in Florence will be visited by Maurice Grube. Funded by Cancerfonden and Karolinska Institutet, he will present his latest results of the Computational and experimental assessment of human DNA glycosylases. The conference is known to attract world leading experts in organic synthesis and chemical biology and thus will ensure critical and stimulating discussion of our latest activities.

From October 8th to 12th the Summer School in Translational Cancer Research invites young researchers from all over the world to learn and discuss with scientific experts of the field. Judith Unterlass will visit the event in Albufeira, Portugal, to present her translational work and discuss opportunities for collaboration and application.


Goodbye https://helleday.org/goodbye/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=goodbye Wed, 15 Aug 2018 08:06:50 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2094 It is time to say goodbye. During the last ten months ,the Helleday lab had a great time not only hosting, but also working with our very talented and driven exchange interns Pepy Iliev and Dag Ivanic. They were involved in several impactful medicinal chemistry and methodology development projects and surely will be missed. Make sure to see more of them and their work in the near future [spoileralert]! All the best for your next endeavours back in Edinburgh and St. Andrews! Keep in touch.

“During my exchange internship at the Helleday lab I have explored a diverse set of synthetic reactions in the context of both therapeutics and chemical biology. I have also built upon my undergraduate practical skills in compound purification and analysis by using industrial-standard facilities. With an inclusive team culture, the transparent and translational structure of the group has helped me to develop a more interdisciplinary understanding of drug discovery and cancer research. I had a great time exploring science in this unrestricted and creative working environment.” – Pepy Iliev, The University of Edinburgh

“I have greatly enjoyed my time at the Helleday laboratory. The medicinal chemistry team is very experienced and were more than happy to share their knowledge with me and help me improve my practical skills, and to gain experience with different purification techniques and a wide variety of synthetic transformation. The available facilities are of industrial grade, so I’ve got a good exposure to techniques used in the drug discovery business. Since the group is smaller than most industrial companies, this offers an excellent opportunity to learn about other aspects of drug discovery as well, including assay development, biology, pharmacology, etc. I have learned a lot during my stay at the Helleday laboratory, and highly recommend the placement opportunity to potential candidates.” – Dag Ivanic, St Andrews University

Sheffield – Stockholm https://helleday.org/2085/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2085 Tue, 03 Jul 2018 09:08:27 +0000 http://helleday.org/?p=2085 The Helleday Laboratory is expanding to Sheffield in the UK to synergize with existing labs in Sweden to further enable pre-clinical drug discovery work to be implemented in an academic-driven clinical environment.