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8th November 2012

£12.8m University funding boost for cancer research

The money will part-fund a £38 million partnership to improve cancer research in Manchester

The University of Manchester has been awarded a £12.8 million government funding boost to help progress cancer research development.

The money will make up part of a £38 million partnership between the University, Cancer Research UK and The Christie hospital to develop the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC).

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “Cancer research is one of our high priorities, so this award is fantastic news for the University and for our partners.”

In 2008, the University was found to have the best cancer research of all UK institutions by the Research Assessment Exercise. It spends £23 million annually on such research.

Manchester is one of fourteen institutions to win funding from the Research Partnership Investment Fund, which is awarding a total of £300 million to successful applicants.

The scheme grants money to universities which are able to attract at least double the amount from businesses, charities or philanthropists, in an effort to “encourage strategic partnerships”.

Professor Nic Jones, MCRC Director and Chief Scientist at Cancer Research UK, said: “The MCRC is a wonderful example of partners working together to combat cancer.

“Cancer Research UK welcomes the news of this award, which will facilitate further progress of the MCRC’s efforts over the coming few years.”

The funds will be used to construct a new University cancer research building on The Christie site in Withington, full of specialist research equipment which will help develop new “personalised” treatments for patients.

Such treatments will be tailored based on the specific characteristics of each tumour to combat them more effectively.

Caroline Shaw, Chief Executive at The Christie, said: “We are extremely grateful for this funding which will help facilitate groundbreaking research right here in Manchester.”

Last week also saw researchers from the University’s Paterson Institute for Cancer Research identify a “molecular flag” which will help doctors predict the effectiveness of treatment on breast cancer patients.

The researchers hope to build on this discovery to develop new strategies to stop the growth of tumours and to overcome their drug resistance.

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