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Cancer charity partners with research council for innovation

CRUK teams up with multi-disciplinary groups to help develop new oncology products


Cancer Research UK has partnered with the engineering and physical sciences research council (EPSRC) to co-fund multidisciplinary research projects.

The new partnership increases the amount of funding for collaborative research to up to £37.5m over five years. Joint awards will be issued by Cancer Research UK, with the first awards decided this April.  

The move builds on the high level of interest in the charity's Multidisciplinary Project Award Scheme, which was launched in August 2014.

The EPSRC is the main UK funding agency for training and research in engineering and physical sciences. CRUK says that working with the EPSRC will not only increase support for collaborative cancer research projects, but will also “unite the expertise and scientific networks of both organisations, to ensure that the highest quality multidisciplinary work will be funded”.

The move also aims to stimulate innovation and combine disciplines to accelerate progress in cancer research.

The charity says that multidisciplinary projects are already showing much promise and cites the example coming from Oxford University, where Cancer Research UK scientists across different areas of expertise are working on new treatment technologies for prostate cancer.  

This includes developing imaging techniques coupled with new fluorescent probes that make it easier for surgeons to distinguish prostate cancer from normal tissue during surgery - improving patient outcomes.

Professor Sir Mike Brady at the University of Oxford, who will chair the expert review committee, said: “This partnership will provide exciting opportunities and increases the number of projects we can fund. We need to push the boundaries, exploring the integration of engineering and physical sciences into cancer research. Combining these two communities will inspire new ways to translate science into patient benefit.”

Dr Iain Foulkes, Cancer Research UK's executive director of strategy and research funding, said: “We're delighted to build on our existing relationship with the EPSRC.  We've made great progress, with cancer survival rates doubling over the last 40 years, but solving the challenges of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment will require multidisciplinary collaboration both within the biomedical arena and with other disciplines.

“Invigorating new ideas and the development of novel techniques through innovative collaborations with engineers and physical scientists will really help drive cancer research forwards so that we can benefit more patients sooner.”  


Article by
Ben Adams

25th March 2015

From: Research



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