Cancer event kickstarts University's £4.5m cancer drive

People researching, living with and fundraising to fight cancer gathered for a special event to kickstart the University of Aberdeen's drive to raise £4.5m to transform cancer research and support the best cancer care in the North-East of Scotland.

A special event at the School of Medicine, Medical Science and Nutrition’s, Institute of Medical Sciences on Thursday showcased Aberdeen’s initiative and approach to fighting cancer.

The University, which already has an established track record in the fight against some forms of the disease, is seeking to attract some of the world’s brightest minds to lead pioneering research work.

Scottish charity Friends of Anchor has already committed to raising £1million for the project as they celebrate their 20 year anniversary.

The Centre will build on, and take to the next stage, the oncology research already under way at the University in areas including lung, bowel, gullet, breast, urological, and cervical cancer and aims to increase research activity and capacity.

It could also create opportunities to develop and trial new drugs in Aberdeen for the first time.

Professor Steve Heys, Head of the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition at the University, said: “We have an internationally renowned expertise in areas of cancer research but this will enable us to take it to a new level.

“The vision is to establish Aberdeen as a centre for world-class oncology research, capable of attracting and retaining the very best academic and clinical staff, which will support not only to excellent patient care in the area but also to pioneering research and bring even more clinial trials of anticancer drugs to the north-east.

“Now is the time to put the north-east of Scotland on the global map for cancer research and to better support the excellent care that patients recieve in the region.

“However, we can only achieve this with support and we are delighted to receive such generous backing from the charity Friends of Anchor. Their commitment to raise £1million in support of the project demonstrates the ever-growing need for this type of research and the north-east is ideally placed to make this happen with research, education and clinical facilities located side-by-side at Foresterhill – Europe’s biggest health campus.”

Attendees were treated to an insight into the cancer research ongoing at the University in the form of information stands and laboratory tours.

The gathering also heard from researchers, current fundraisers and those personally affected by cancer.

Survivor Naomi Robertson-Murray, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last October, spoke of her battle with the disease.

Mother and party planning consultant, Naomi told those in attendance: “The treatment I received was brilliant, but if we want to do something about cancer then research is the way forward. I am fundraising for this new research team because I want more people to feel as elated as I did when I found out I was cancer-free in April. It will help people in the North-East and right across northern Scotland.”

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