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Cancer research and the transformational power of philanthropy

2 February 2018

 To mark World Cancer Day 2018, UCL celebrates the work of the world-class UCL Cancer Institute, the hub of cancer research at UCL, and the individuals and institutions who support its work.

The Institute draws together over 300 talented scientists who are working together to translate research discoveries into developing kinder and more effective therapies for cancer patients. 

The UCL Cancer Institute itself is built on philanthropy; just over 10 years ago Children with Cancer UK helped establish the Paul O’Gorman building which houses the Institute. Children with Cancer UK was set up by Eddie and Marion O’Gorman in memory of their son Paul who died of leukaemia aged 14 and their daughter Jean who passed away from cancer nine months later. 

The Institute opened its doors in 2007 and the £40 million Paul O’Gorman building is one of the largest and most prolific biomedical facilities in Europe. Children with Cancer UK continue to fund research into childhood leukaemia and acute myeloid leukaemia at UCL. 

UCL Cancer Institute

The progress that the UCL Cancer Institute makes in understanding and developing treatments for cancer is made possible by philanthropy. As Tariq Enver, Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Director of the UCL Cancer Institute, who received a grant from Children with Cancer to research normal and leukamatic stem cells, said: “Perhaps the most exciting impact of philanthropy is that it helps us to bring the brightest minds to UCL and to give them the freedom to think – and do – differently. And that is where breakthroughs happen.” 

Cancer is a priority project for UCL’s It’s All Academic fundraising campaign. From fighting dementia to ensuring generations of students reach their full potential: It's All Academic. UCL’s ideas and discoveries are shaping the future, improving lives and having a massive impact on London and the wider world. The Campaign is UCL’s biggest ever philanthropic Campaign aiming to rise £600 million for world-impacting research. By the end of 2017, it had already raised £352 million.