UCL Cancer Institute Research Trust

UCL Cancer Institute Research Trust

Current Projects and Funding Opportunities

The Cancer Institute Research Trust is currently seeking funding for the following priority projects:

2 Year Salary of the Bill Lyons Informatics Centre Group Leader (salary cost £160,000)

Construction of the new £2.21 million Bill Lyons Informatics Centre is now complete and the Cancer Institute Research Trust has secured all of the necessary funding for both the build and its information technology requirements.

CIRT is now seeking £160,000 over a 2 year period (£80,000 per annum) for a Professorial Research Associate in Computational Science to lead the new Bill Lyons Informatics Centre and to oversee its 12 computational scientists. The post holder will provide leadership across the UCL Cancer Institute in computational biology and statistics and ensure that the Centre is utilised to its full capacity. In Year 1, the focus f the Professorial Research Associate and his/her team will be in Lung Cancer, Sarcoma, Leukaemia and Epigenetics.

CIRT is interested in engaging with partners interested in supporting the annual (or two year) salary of the Professorial Research Associate.

Contact Anna Roche: a.roche[at]ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 6325 to find out more about this funding opportunity.

Confocal Microscope (capital cost of equipment £500,000)

CIRT is seeking funding towards the £500,000 cost of a confocal microscope. The confocal microscope is a vital piece of equipment which is used to study the ‘architecture’ of individual cells. It allows researchers to look at the organisation of genetic material within a cell nucleus in its natural state (in 3D). By using the confocal microscope to examine cancerous cells and their organisation in comparison to normal tissues, researchers can better understand how a tumour’s microenvironment develops throughout the distinct stages of cancer and determine how normal cell behaviour has changed. The confocal microscope also allows researchers to look deep into subcellular structures – such as the nucleus of the cell – to determine how cancer genes are controlled. It also enables identification of new biomarkers – features that enable identification of the cancerous cells. This can be used in both diagnostic purposes and for identifying the precise mechanisms underlying the disease.

None of this is possible using a traditional microscope. At present, there is no confocal microscopy within the UCL Cancer Institute and this absence is hindering the vital research being undertaken.

CIRT is interested in engaging with partners interested in either exclusively or part-funding the confocal microscope.

Contact Anna Roche: a.roche[at]ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 6325 to find out more about this funding opportunity.

FACS Analyser (capital cost of equipment)

Contact Anna Roche: a.roche[at]ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 6325 to find out more about this funding opportunity.

Ion Proton Sequencer (capital cost of equipment £250,000)

The Cancer Institute Research Trust is seeking £250,000 funding towards an Ion Proton Sequencer, a vital instrument which is needed for basic cancer discoveries and for directing personalised cancer therapy. The Ion Proton Sequencer is ideal for sequencing (investigating and deciphering) both exomes – the 22,000 genes that encode for proteins – and the complete human genome (all the DNA material, including exomes).

‘Next generation’ sequencing technologies (the high-throughput generation and interpretation of sequence information which produces thousands or millions of sequences at once) have become the premier tool in genetic and genomic analysis, making accessible data capable of answering questions fundamental to our understanding of life and the factors that govern human health. By analysing the smallest DNA changes, doctors will ultimately be able to predict future chronic illnesses and changes linked to cancer. The main benefits offered by next generation sequencing technologies in cancer management are, 1) detailed molecular (rather than morphological) diagnosis and classification of cancer types in individual patients; 2) the prospect of individualisation of cancer treatment. Until now, it has taken months to sequence a human genome (the entirety of a human’s 22,000 genes), at a cost of over £10,000 per genome. The slow pace and the high cost of equipment have limited human genome sequencing to a select few research laboratories across the world. Cost, speed and accuracy are the key elements in the use of DNA sequencing for both cancer genetics research and clinical diagnosis. Instruments like Ion Proton will make it possible to sequence a person’s entire genome in less than one day, and at a price which (i.e. £700 - £800 per exome) is more affordable for research and clinical laboratories.

The UCL Cancer Institute is hoping to be one of the first Institutes in Europe to be able to offer this revolutionary approach to cancer research, and to use this technology to decipher the genetic abnormalities in a patient’s specific cancer, informing clinicians how best to treat an individual patient.

CIRT is interested in engaging with partners interested in either exclusively or part-funding the Ion Proton Sequencer.

Contact Anna Roche: a.roche[at]ucl.ac.uk 020 7679 6325 to find out more about this funding opportunity.

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Page last modified on 26 mar 14 18:03