MCRC Director’s Update – Summer 2023

Professor Robert Bristow in his office in the OCRB

Hello, I hope everyone has had an enjoyable Summer, complete with some well-earned rest and the occasional sunny day.


This summer the MCRC has continued its mission to co-create research through delivering a collaborative workshop with members of our community, celebrated the achievements of our MB-PhD and academic colleagues, and most recently we’ve launched the MCRC Springboard Award a competitive fund designed to help researchers accelerate the translation of their discoveries.


‘Together in Research’ Workshop

A principle of the MCRC is co-creating innovative research with our community and supporting equality diversity and inclusivity. We know that members of the Black community are underrepresented across the research portfolio, from researchers through to involvement in clinical trials. Working to alleviate this issue, the MCRC hosted the Manchester charity Can Survive UK to introduce what cancer research means and demystify the research process. Can Survive UK operates to provide culturally sensitive support and information to people living with and beyond cancer and is uniquely placed to gather input from members of the wider Manchester community.

The visit included tours of our laboratories and opportunities to meet researchers. The team of representatives and service users shared the barriers they face when engaging with clinical trials and the perception of research within the community. This work builds upon previous engagement with the charity, including Cultural Competency Conversations training our Strategic Operations Team took in June, as well as previous engagement during World Cancer Day in 2020.

We’re excited to see this collaboration develop further and our aim to co-create future research projects.


The MCRC Springboard Award

Supported by our partnership with Cancer Research Horizons, The University of Manchester Innovation Factory, and our Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre, in August we launched the MCRC Springboard Award. This fund is available to anyone from the MCRC partnership to help support the translation of research.

I’m excited to see the projects put forward in this award and especially keen to see input from our early career researchers. If you’ve got an early-stage research innovation and need funding to help it realise its potential delivering patient benefit, then this is the award for you.

Find out more on the MCRC Springboard Award website, and get your application in before the 29th September 2023.

MCRC Springboard Award Application graphic

Tony Howell Festschrift

Following previous months that celebrated the lifetime work of Professors Juan Valle and Catharine West, at the end of June, the Manchester Breast Centre held a Festschrift to acknowledge the prestigious career of Professor Tony Howell.

Tony’s has been a leader in breast cancer research for over 40 years and has led to truly life-changing research. Amongst his repertoire of more than 700 papers are many incredible discoveries including the development of targeted preventative therapies like tamoxifen and anastrazole and researching the risk of breast cancer.

Read more about the Festschrift in this write-up from the Manchester Breast Centre.



In other developments from across the MCRC


I hope that everyone has an enjoyable remainder of their summer and I look forward to updating you all at the end of next month.

Robert Bristow

Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre

Director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre



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