As reported in the last newsletter, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) is investing in 15 cutting-edge research centres, with substantial funding coming to Cambridge. Sir Bruce Ponder and Carlos Caldas now explain what this means to us.
“The success of these developments has recently been recognised and consolidated by an international review carried out by CRUK. The review took account of scientific excellence, engagement with both physical and biological sciences, interaction with the hospital, and the quality of translational and clinical research. Cambridge was rated ‘outstanding’ for both past and future work. On the strength of our potential and our ten-year strategy, we were selected, together with Oxford and Manchester, as one of only three Major Cancer Centres across the UK. This will bring increased funds for training and for research infrastructure, and the possibility to work closely with CRUK to bid for substantial cross-disciplinary strategic programmes to develop priority areas over the next five to ten years.
This is a new horizon for us. Our plans for the Major Centre will be developed through discussions across Cambridge, with our Oxford and Manchester partners, and with industry. They are likely to centre around five components:
- Integrative cancer medicine: the application of cross-cutting scientific strengths to a continuum reaching from pre-invasive cancer and early diagnosis to experimental trials in advanced disease.
- The Therapeutic Pathways Consortium: a platform for interaction with pharma and biotech.
- The incubator innovation laboratory: coming up with new devices and technologies to solve research ‘roadblocks’ by interaction between biology, physics, maths, chemistry and engineering.
- Expanded training programmes.
- A substantial Development Fund to seed new projects and programmes and attract new strategic funds.”