Driving Cancer Team Science

Our Research Strategy

Light bulb against dark background

Cancer is a global challenge. Between 2015-2017, there were over 350,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the UK alone, and in 2017, cancer accounted for more than a quarter of deaths in the UK. We have a vision to overcome the cancer challenge and create a future free from the burden of cancer. To achieve this, we need a united, integrated cancer research strategy that is built on the foundations of collaboration and Team Science.

Behind every discovery, innovation, clinical trial, or laboratory experiment is a team of dedicated scientists who have committed their lives to researching and beating cancer.

At the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, we are committed to bringing together these world-leading individuals or groups to leverage their expertise and experience to tackle the global cancer challenge. We believe that by embracing our diverse research interests, our multidisciplinary and complementary range of specialisms, we can collaborate towards a shared goal.

Exterior of the Oglesby Cancer Research Building at nighttime

Driving Cancer Team Science

The concept of ‘Team Science’ lies at the heart of our research strategy. and is the key to us developing world-leading, practice-influencing and life-changing cancer research.

At its core, Team Science is about breaking research silos, and bringing individuals and teams together to collaborate and solve problems. Our aim is to work collaboratively to drive high-impact research projects. We know that impactful science is co-created with individuals across a range of disciplines including biology, physics, chemistry and medicine, and involves a diverse range of professions including project managers, nurses, clinicians, administrators, academics, postgraduate researchers, and even members of the public and patients.

We have to all work together to beat the cancer challenge.


Cancer 'Team Science' is about creating a team comprising a wide range of professions with deep knowledge in their area to answer the small questions that lead to collectively answering the big problems. This way of treating patients, based on rapid and effective discoveries using team science with a one Manchester approach, benefits people not just in Manchester, but across the world.

Professor Robert Bristow

Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre

Our Research Strategy

Research within the MCRC partnership includes working across multiple cancer disease sites and are linked to a range of basic, translational and clinical research themes. The majority of this work is enabled through the Manchester cancer research nexus, a series of interconnected externally funded research institutes, centres of excellence and networks with research strategies aligned to that of the MCRC.

Cancer is also one of The University of Manchester’s five research beacons. The beacons are based around some of the biggest questions facing the planet. They bring together our efforts to address these problems with examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships with research activities being exemplified through the MCRC.

The MCRC works collaboratively with people across different institutions, in different countries and with different backgrounds and cultures to ensure our research has the desired impact. Cancer researchers in Manchester all strive towards a consistent endpoint: delivering a future free from the burden of cancer. To achieve this we drive research activities from the bench to novel treatment paradigms delivered through out partner NHS Trusts and to the population through the Greater Manchester Cancer Plan. This is illustrated in the diagram below demonstrating how the MCRC exemplifies and adds to the activities of our partners to drive long term clinical change.

The University of Manchester, Cancer Research UK, and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, feed into the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, leading to the GM Cancer Plan and meeting long term NHS strategic goals in Early Detection and novel treatment), AHSC and HInM (multi-domain projects deploying research into population health), and Novel Multi-Disciplinary Team Science and Training through increased partnerships and interdisciplinary research

Collaborative Town Halls

Our collaborative Town Halls are one such initiative that embodies our Team Science ethos. Since 2017, we have held multiple meetings focused on developing collaborative, multi-disciplinary research teams to tackle the biggest cancer challenges and improve patient outcomes.

Professor Robert Bristow presenting at an MCRC Town Hall

Our Vision

Find out more about our vision to unite science and clinical excellence to create a future free from the burden of cancer.

Research Themes

Discover the cross-cutting research themes supported by the MCRC

Disease Sites

Discover the cancer diseases sites researchers are actively investigating.

Impact Case Studies

Discover more about the World-Leading, Practice-Influencing, Life-Changing and Team-Building research stories

Patient, Public Involvement and Engagement

Involvement and engagement is an essential two-way process that helps us to drive novel cancer research that has been developed together with patients or members of our community.