MCRC Director’s Update – April 2023

Professor Robert Bristow in his office in the OCRB


Hello all! I hope everyone has had a fantastic April and managed to enjoy some of the sunny spells that are starting to appear. In spite of the bank holiday and school breaks, this has been another action-packed month at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.


Paterson Redevelopment Progress


For those of you on Withington Campus, you will now see that our flagship build has reached its completion. Friday 31st March was a significant milestone for this build, marking the signing over of the building from IHP to The Christie.


While external building work is complete, snagging issues are still being rectified on the inside of the building, with some minor landscaping taking place at the exterior. As of the last week of April, we have started to see the moving process take place, with the core facilities moving from Alderley Park in the first wave of moves, followed by Caroline Dive’s Biomarker Centre. In addition, other labs will be moving internally in the OCRB, with my lab now having moved downstairs to the ground floor.


I am taking this time to reflect on the tenacity of our partners who have worked over the past six years since the fire in 2017 and utilised the opportunity to create this phenomenal build which will be the home to next generation cancer research.


Manchester Cancer Research Centre | MCRC Director’s Update – April 2023

An external shot of the completed Paterson build.

Manchester Cancer Research Centre | MCRC Director’s Update – April 2023

An aerial drone shot of the completed Paterson build.

Some of my activities across April have included:


  • A Visit to London Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Attending The Pan Prostate Cancer Group (PPCG) conference in Madrid with David Wedge, hosted by the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC)
  • Chairing the CRUK clinical research committee
  • Attending the International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) Away Day 2023 where I shared our key strategic priorities and discussed future opportunities and aspirations for ACED with fellow early detection researchers from across Manchester.


In other developments from across the MCRC


  • Congratulations to Professor Fiona Thistlethwaite, Medical Oncology Consultant at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, who has been selected to Chair the Investigational Immunotherapy track for ESMO Congress 2024. Read more in our MCRC blog.


  • In mid-April, members of the MCRC Operations Team visited Kenya to support our unique partnership between The University of Manchester, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) which will raise awareness of squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus (OSCC) in Kenya and increase engagement in public screening opportunities using mobile detection units that travel across the country. This visit was in preparation for the NIHR site visits which will be taking place next month.


  • The MCRC and The University of Manchester released a special episode of One in Two: A Manchester Cancer Research Podcast this month. Our host, Sally Best, spoke to Dr Jen Davies-Oliveira, a researcher and PhD student at The University of Manchester and Stewart O’Callaghan, the Founder and Chief Executive of Live Through This, the UK’s only LGBTQIA+ cancer charity about improving cancer screening uptake in the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalised groups. The podcast is now available on Spotify and other major podcast platforms.


I hope everyone has an enjoyable May and I look forward to updating you all next month.



Robert Bristow

Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre

Director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre



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