MCRC Director’s Update – February 2023

Professor Robert Bristow in his office in the OCRB


As February comes to an end, we can now look back on what has been another eventful month at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.


World Cancer Day 2023

Kicking off the month was World Cancer Day on February 4th, a day where we come together to acknowledge the global cancer challenge.

This year, I joined our host Sally Best to record a special episode of our podcast One in Two: A Manchester Cancer Research Podcast, speaking about globalisation of research. Drawing parallels to my own experiences of researching as part of international consortia, we discuss the need for strong international research and Manchester’s place as a world leader across many fields. The podcast is now available on Spotify and other major podcast platforms, and can be listened to on the MCRC website.

Recognising this important day for raising awareness on the impact of cancer, our partners also marked World Cancer Day in their own way:

  • Dr Fabio Gomes writes on The Christie website about his journey from undergraduate to creating the new senior adult oncology service.
  • Dr Suzanne Johnson asked several researchers how their research is helping to close the cancer care gap and outlining how we are working with communities to identify research they want to be conducted, closing the barriers to breast screening, and understanding genomics on an international scale. Their input is summarised on the MCRC website.
  • In addition, in a World Cancer Day Webinar, Dr Suzanne Johnson was joined by Professor Cliona Kirwan as well as patient advocates Mike Thorpe and Imogen Westwood to discuss how combined research and patient co-creation can close the cancer care gap.

In other developments from across the MCRC

Congratulations to Dr Martin McCabe who has been awarded a further award of over £200,000 from the Bone Cancer Research Trust. This funding will help to further support the rEECur trial, which aims to identify the best chemotherapy backbone to which new drugs could be added for treatment.

The Prostate Gap Exhibition has now left the Oglesby Cancer Research Building foyer. There has been incredible feedback provided by everyone who has visited over the past six weeks. It has been enlightening to experience their powerful individual cancer journeys through these photographs and our atrium is certainly now waiting for the next exhibit!

On the 8th March 2023, the MCRC and our partners will be celebrating International Women’s Day 2023. To mark this day, we are organising a special afternoon in the Oglesby Cancer Research Building Lecture Theatre to celebrate the achievements of our fantastic researchers with talks from Dr Heather Williams, Dr Beenish Siddique and a Q&A with Prof. Catharine West followed by a panel discussion. Registration is now open via Eventbrite.

Finally, between the 15th and 17th March, we will be hosting a celebration event: Wisdom from ‘The West’ at the Hilton, Deansgate to look back at the outstanding career of Professor Catharine West following her retirement last year. We’ll be joined by international speakers including Jens Overgaard, George Wilson and Carmel Mothersill as we look forward to future developments in radiobiology and biomarker research. More details can be found on the MCRC Conference website.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable March 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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