A SCIENTIST at Warwick University has been been given £158,000 for research into the fight against cancer causing ‘rogue cells’.
Dr Stephen Royle, from Burton Green near Kenilworth, has been awarded a prestigious Cancer Research UK Pioneer Award, which backs the brightest ideas in cancer research.
The awards are a ‘Dragon’s Den’ like way of funding research. Applications are judged anonymously, and shortlisted researchers are given five minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. A pot of up to £200,000 is available for those who succeed.
Dr Royle and his team will study brain tumour cells to understand more about the cell division process, and how it can cause cancer. They will also test whether drugs can be used to stop cells from dividing incorrectly and potentially stop tumours forming.
Dr Royle said: “When cells divide they have to make sure that the chromosomes which contain the cell’s DNA split equally so that two accurate cells are made.
“My team’s work aims to better understand how this process going wrong can cause cancer. Ultimately our future goal would be to see if drugs can be developed and used to stop the cells dividing unequally and potentially stop cancer cells forming.”
Dr Jess Sutcliffe, research funding manager at Cancer Research UK, said the Pioneer Awards were as innovative as the research they funded.
She added: “They allow us to find and fund researchers with big ideas that hold up in front of a panel of experts, and which have the potential to be game-changing for cancer research.”
Every year, around 30,400 people are diagnosed with cancer in the West Midlands region. Together with its partners, scientists, doctors and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
To find out how to support the charity please visit: www.cancerresearchuk.org