Imperial College London

Celebrating the CRUK Imperial Centre Launch, this World Cancer Day


Lifesaving cancer research and treatment centres at Imperial were the focus of a World Cancer Day event hosted on campus this week.

In the lead-up to World Cancer Day this Saturday, healthcare experts, scientists and the wider Imperial community gathered to celebrate the renewed Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre and Imperial Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC). 

A partnership between Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Cancer Research UK, the CRUK Imperial Centre unites clinicians and scientists from across Imperial to reduce the burden of cancer and increase the precision of cancer care by translating research of the highest quality into direct benefit for patients with cancer.

The Centre has a strong focus on breast, ovarian and colorectal cancers with large clinical and academic teams working in these areas. They also have teams working on cancers of unmet need (lung, pancreatic, glioma, oesophageal), and have recognised expertise in prostate cancer research (London Movember Centre with the Institute of Cancer Research and UCL), and within the Centre for Haematology, specialise in haemato-oncology. 

Working together 

Imperial College London is the leading university in the CRUK Centre’s Network to focus exclusively on science, medicine, engineering and physical sciences and so the Centre is able to fully integrate all four strands in order to be fully multidisciplinary and collaborative.

The Centre has a strong identity in technological innovation for cancer research and together with the ECMC, are working to translate innovation into improved diagnosis and treatment for people with cancer. 

Professor Darzi

Professor Darzi

The new Centre Director, Professor Darzi introduced the event and gave an overview of the Centre whilst Dean of Medicine, Professor Gavin Screaton provided insight into the developing strategy and investment planning for the Centre and how to fully utilise our partnership with CRUK.  

Eric Aboagye, Professor of Cancer Pharmacology and Molecular Imaging, gave an overview of the Imperial ECMC, part of the national initiative funded jointly by CRUK and the NIHR .  Their main objectives are to develop novel imaging, biomarker and therapeutic approaches that will aid cancer diagnosis and deliver personalised treatment. One area they focus on for example is understanding and overcoming drug resistance in breast and ovarian cancers which has led to novel treatment strategies and evaluation of a range of biomarkers that help support therapeutic decisions. 

The Imperial ECMC has close alignment with the CRUK Imperial Centre, the Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre. 

Training the next generation  

Professor Daniel Elson from the Hamlyn Centre for Medical Robotics talked about the importance of training and developing the next generation of scientists, engineers and researchers.

The panel discussionThe event concluded with a panel discussion with a main focus on the future of the Centres and on how to increase collaborative, translational research activity in Engineering, Physical Sciences, Cancer Biology and Immunology.  Members of the panel included Imperial’s Vice Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences - Professor Paul French, Head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer - Professor Jeremy Nicholson, Professor of Molecular Cancer Medicine - Michael Seckl, Dean of Medicine – Professor Gavin Screaton, Professor of Chemical Biology - Ed Tate, Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering – Professor Eric Yeatman and Centre Director - Professor Ara Darzi.  

By bringing together interdisciplinary experts, adapting the right policies, training the next generation of cancer researchers and involving the public and patient groups, we can help reduce the burden of cancer.

– Professor Darzi

Director, CRUK Imperial Centre

In his closing remarks, Professor Darzi said “Our work with CRUK is important in helping to drive innovation in cancer research.  By bringing together interdisciplinary experts, adapting the right policies, training the next generation of cancer researchers and involving the public and patient groups, we can help reduce the burden of cancer - through prevention and early detection of cancer, Improving cancer survival and the the quality of life of patients with cancer.

Our renewed partnership with CRUK will allow us to build on our strengths and we are very much looking forward to our continued collaborations to eradicate cancer now and for generations to come.   

View the photos from the event here.


Jo Seed

Jo Seed
Institute of Global Health Innovation

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