Cancer Research U.K. has partnered with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the U.K.'s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences, to co-fund multidisciplinary research projects.
The new partnership increases the amount of funding for collaborative research to up to $55.8 million over five years. Joint awards will be issued by Cancer Research U.K., with the first awards decided this April. The move builds on the high level of interest in the charity’s Multidisciplinary Project Award Scheme launched in August 2014.
The move will stimulate innovation and combine disciplines to accelerate progress in cancer research. Multidisciplinary projects are already showing much promise. At Oxford University, Cancer Research U.K. scientists across different areas of expertise are working on new treatment technologies for prostate cancer. They are developing imaging techniques coupled with new fluorescent probes that make it easier for surgeons to distinguish prostate cancer from normal tissue during surgery—improving patient outcomes.
Professor Sir Mike Brady at the University of Oxford, who will chair the expert review committee, said, “This partnership will provide exciting opportunities and increases the number of projects we can fund. We need to push the boundaries, exploring the integration of engineering and physical sciences into cancer research. Combining these two communities will inspire new ways to translate science into patient benefit.”
Professor Philip Nelson, chief executive of EPSRC, said, “This new partnership will build further on our existing collaborative work which already is reaping rich rewards for scientists, engineers, clinicians and of course, patients. We are confident that the strength of these collaborations will inspire more researchers to work with Cancer Research U.K., EPSRC and other partners. This partnership will help the U.K. acquire tools and skills we need in our collective battle against cancer.”