Cancer Research Programme

Cancer Research Programme

Cancer cellsThank you for supporting Cancer@ABDN

Three years on from reaching our ambitious target of raising £4.5million to develop a world-class Cancer Research Programme at Aberdeen, thanks to the tremendous generosity of our many friends and supporters, our team of talented researchers continue to develop our 'bench to bedside' approach which translates new laboratory findings into real-world solutions that will diretly benefit patients through the finest care and the newest treatments.

Of course, there is much more to do and the ongoing support we receive from our worldwide community of friends and benefactors continues to benefit our research. We are in this for the long-term and want communities across Scotland to benefit from our research for generations to come.

Thank you so much. Your support for cancer research at Aberdeen is truly helping to save lives.

Professor Valerie Speirs

Professor Valerie SpeirsThanks to the wonderful generosity of so many donors, I was proud to return to my alma mater in 2018 as Chair in Molecular Oncology. Since then I have been heartened by the excellent progress made in strengthening our Cancer Research Programme.

Your support has created a 'virtuous circle' that has enabled us to significantly expand our research team, win major grant funding, including a share of £7million to be part of the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank, and boost our reputation - all of which is helping us to do more and more to fight cancer.

Further vital successes, enabled by your support, include the following:

  • Professor Iain McEwan has been successful in attracting substantial new resources to Aberdeen from the Prostate Cancer Research Centre. His work is exploring new ways to treat prostate cancers which have become resistant to conventional therapies.
  • Two PhD students, generously funded by CRANES, are dedicated to working on male cancers.
  • Professor John Gibson has built a team to study oral and head and neck cancers.
  • Professor Anne Donaldson, supported by Cancer Research UK, continues to investigate fundamental mechanisms in cancer.
  • Regius Professor of Pathology, Graeme Murray, continues his research into gastro-intestinal cancers and leads a research team investigating bowel cancer.

It's so important to attract a new generation of cancer researchers. I encourage medical students to try laboratory research and thanks to funding from Friends of Anchor, the Pathological Society and Animal-Free Research UK, medical students have greatly benefitted from lab experience under our Aberdeen Summer Research Scholarships scheme.

We have also established a Cancer Research PhD Initiative for the School which will encourage links between different areas of cancer research and enhance the training and interaction opportunities for PhD students working on cancer.

Covid-19 has inevitably impacted on our cancer research activity but this has provided the opportunity to explore exciting new dimensions to our research.

Virtual conferences on cancer have been taking place and members of the team are attending these to learn of the latest findings in cancer research and how Covid-19 has impacted cancer patients.

Thank you once again for your wonderful support of cancer research at Aberdeen.

To help us build on the success of our Cancer Research Programme, please give online today by clicking ‘DONATE NOW’ to help us make new discoveries and breakthroughs which will improve the lives of so many people affected by cancer. For more information contact Kelly M. Anderson on +44 (0) 1224 272281 or email