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Help us find tomorrow's cancer treatments

We are making exciting advances against cancer, which are helping people live longer and better. To continue discovering smarter treatments, we need the very brightest cancer scientists and clinicians. Help us train the next generation of PhD scientists who will become tomorrow's research leaders. 

PhD students on designed banner

The vital role of PhD students

We could not do our research today without the contribution of our PhD students.  Every year, we take in a new cohort to commence their training as cancer scientists and work on vital research projects 

Supervised by leading scientists at the ICR, at the same time as developing their skills, our PhD students embark upon four-year research projects that significantly advance our knowledge and understanding of cancer.

Our students play a key part in creating new scientific knowledge to drive forward our research strategy and make an impact on cancer patients’ lives.

Why we need your support

We want more students to benefit from an education with us and learn from the best minds in cancer research. We want more students to work on ground-breaking projects with the latest scientific and technological advances, providing tangible benefits for cancer patients worldwide.

But hosting a PhD student costs more than £160,000 over four years – and we do not have the funds needed to support all the excellent, deserving studentship projects that our scientists wish to pursue. The more donations we receive, the more studentships we can offer – and the sooner their discoveries will start to benefit cancer patients.

Donate today to help train the next generation of cancer researchers.

Donate now

Clare Isacke

If we can support these up-and-coming cancer scientists now, they will have a flying start in their research careers – crucial for the development of new treatments for patients.”

Professor Clare Isacke, Dean of Academic and Research Affairs

Our PhD students past and present

Targeting cancer’s weaknesses

Timothy Yap 200px

Dr Timothy Yap undertook a PhD in our Division of Cancer Therapeutics between 2007 and 2010. His PhD involved testing potential inhibitors of proteins that are often involved in the development of cancer.

Dr Yap has gone on to become an Associate Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His main research interests include targeting cancers with weaknesses in their systems for repairing DNA and developing new immunotherapies – as well as using immunotherapies in combination with targeted treatments.

My time at the ICR has had a major influence on my career, and I attribute much of what I have achieved so far to the excellent training and invaluable experiences gained during my PhD.”

Hope for children's cancer

Elisa Delgado 200px

Elisa Delgado completed her PhD in September 2020. Her research focussed on a type of childhood cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). She’s now working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Hospital Infantil Universitario Nino Jesus in Madrid.

Elisa was awarded a Chairman’s prize. The prize recognises the outstanding contribution the student has made to scientific knowledge in their field.

 “I have loved working at the ICR for many reasons, but I particularly valued the connection with our hospital partner The Royal Marsden and how translational our science is.”

Blocking cancer proteins

Iona Black 200px

Iona Black is a PhD student in Dr Sebastian Guettler’s structural biology team.

She is using a variety of specialist techniques to design chemical probes that could stop the activities of tankyrase, a protein involved in cancer cell growth. Iona’s work could provide early crucial clues towards the design of new cancer treatments.

 “I am so grateful to be awarded a PhD studentship at the ICR. I hope other young scientists also get the opportunity to come here to learn and develop the fundamental skills for the multidisciplinary field of cancer research.”

Sue’s cancer story 

Sue Vincent

Sue is alive today thanks to our research. Sue was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. After receiving chemotherapy, Sue’s cancer returned three years later. She was told she had months to live.

Sue’s consultant told her about an opportunity to go on a clinical trial for a new targeted treatment, that we discovered and developed.

“My treatment has given me my life back. It has enabled me to see five beautiful grandchildren being born and to take an active part in their life.

I feel extremely lucky. If it wasn’t for this trial and the funding that has gone into research, I wouldn’t be here. I’ve never stopped feeling grateful. It has given me the quality of life I could only have dreamed about.”

Image: Sue Vincent. Credit: Vicki Head

Help us train the cancer research leaders of the future

To discover smarter, kinder treatments we need the very brightest cancer scientists and clinicians. That's why we need your help in training up a new generation of PhD scientists who will work in our labs while studying to become tomorrow's cancer research leaders.

Support our appeal today to give talented scientists the best possible start to their career and the opportunity to help more patients survive cancer.

Donate now