Cancer Research UK delegation visits Leeds

Senior leaders from Cancer Research UK have visited the University to find out how Leeds researchers are working together in the battle against the disease.

The Cancer Research UK delegates with senior leaders and cancer researchers from Leeds

The Cancer Research UK delegates with senior leaders and cancer researchers from Leeds. January 2020

Academics from across a range of disciplines met the charity’s Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, as part of a senior delegation to showcase their research, ranging from discovery science to large-scale clinical trials. The delegates included four Cancer Research UK trustees – David Lindsell, Dr Andrew Palmer, Professor Sir Bruce Ponder and Dr Adrian Crellin – and Dr Alex Pemberton, Head of Therapeutic Discovery Funding and (acting) Head of Centres and Institutes.

The delegation visited engineers, biologists, data scientists, clinicians and health researchers, who are together trying to improve cancer treatments and quality of life for patients. Many of those researchers receive funding from Cancer Research UK to support their work.

The visit included a tour of the University’s Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, which features two ten-foot high cryo-electron microscopes.

The Astbury facilities allow scientists to look at the molecular detail of how cells and organisms function, or how they malfunction in the case of cancer. Current projects include tackling the skin cancer Kaposi’s sarcoma and using microbubbles to try to treat a range of cancers.

Michelle Mitchell, from Cancer Research UK, talks to Dr Natalia Riobo-Del Galdo, from the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. January 2020Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of Cancer Research UK, talks to Dr Natalia Riobo-Del Galdo, from the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology 

Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “Leeds has a long history of excellent research in cancer.

“It’s incredibly impressive to see the breadth of science here at Leeds with a number of key specialisms, particularly looking at data science and AI [artificial intelligence], discovery science and of course working with the NHS to put that into practice for people today.

“Cancer Research UK has a long history of partnership and funding here in Leeds, so I’m here today to see the fantastic work that’s happening, to understand the partnerships that are in place and how we at CRUK will be putting together plans for our future together.

“I’m particularly pleased to see recent funding awarded to Leeds in three areas – radiotherapy, early detection and the Grand Challenge programme looking at the microbiome. These are three fantastic projects, which demonstrate the extent to which Leeds’ research is world-class.

“It’s been great to understand how the University teams with the NHS to make sure that research continues to save lives today here in Leeds.”

Professor Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation at Leeds, said: “Cancer is a real priority area of research for Leeds and an area that we are proud to have significant and growing strength coupled with significant investment over recent years.

“Our close partnerships with health providers across the city ensure that Leeds’ research is able to have a positive impact on society, and ultimately to improve and save lives.

“We now see an increasing opportunity to combine our strengths in biomedicine, clinical trials and novel therapies, and intelligent technologies. This will allow us to foster unique research and innovation initiatives to accelerate and improve our ability to bring better treatments to patients.”

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