UCL Campaign


UCL Cancer Institute receives £1.875m gift from Sir Peter Wood CBE

16 July 2019

UCL Cancer Institute's life-saving work has been bolstered by a £1.875 million donation from Sir Peter Wood CBE that will fund vital research, equipment and educational opportunities.

Sir Peter Wood CBE

UCL is at the forefront of transformative research into prostate cancer. From breakthroughs in how we detect this common cancer to revolutionising the way we treat it, our academics are leading the way in this field of research. Research at UCL’s Cancer Institute has received a significant boost thanks to a gift of £1.875million from entrepreneur and founder of Direct Line and esure, Sir Peter Wood CBE.

When speaking about his gift to the UCL Cancer Institute, Sir Peter said: “The work of the UCL Cancer Institute has been instrumental in changing how we start to diagnose and treat cancers that, 20 years ago, we would have considered to be incurable. I hope that this gift will help the talented researchers working within the Cancer Institute to look forward to the next decade of our fight against cancer.”  

What this gift will support 

From building infrastructure through to funding priority areas of research, this generous donation will have a direct impact on the UCL Cancer Institute and shows how powerful philanthropy can be.

The gift will support Clinical Professor Mark Linch over the next decade, aiding him in establishing a lab-based group to develop a research programme, and contributing to the educational mission of the Cancer Institute. It will also fund a package of support for prostate cancer research including funding a digital pathology scanner, technician and data storage for a number of years. 

Perhaps most importantly, this gift will help the future generation of emerging UCL academics by funding a multi-year post-doctoral research position and a number of PhD and MBPhD positions.  The positions on our programme are designed for students who aspire to a clinical career with a substantial focus on research. This degree is part of our ongoing commitment to invest directly in individuals and give them a launchpad for their future career in clinical science. 

Professor Mark Emberton, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences, believes that gifts like this help young academics to have a more long-term vision with their research. He says: “Philanthropy provides the space for the creation and refinement of new ideas. By ensuring that aspects like equipment and resources are funded, we have the time to test theories effectively and the space to allow bright, young researchers to explore the limits of what we know to be possible.

We are so proud to be able to partner with Sir Peter to achieve this and are delighted that he has chosen to invest in UCL and our researchers.” 

Looking to the next decade of cancer research

For UCL Cancer Institute Director Professor Tariq Enver, this gift marks another step towards transforming the way we think about cancer. 

He says: “The generous donation and support provided by donors have enabled us to make great strides in cancer research.

In the last decade our talented and passionate researchers have made some seminal breakthroughs in both cancer diagnosis and treatment, helping change clinical practice and impacting the lives of patients across the world.

In the next 10 years we have the ambition to build on our ground-breaking research, turning it into biotherapies and personalised treatments.  Support such as this from Sir Peter will enable us to make those breakthroughs more quickly and results in kinder, more effective treatments for our patients."

Recognising the support 

Sir Peter Wood CBE at the UCL Donor Wall with Mark Emberton, Tariq Enver and Mark Linch
As a way to say thank you for his support, Sir Peter Wood joined the UCL Circle of Benefactors on 20th June, 2019. 

The UCL Circle of Benefactors recognises and celebrates donors who have given £1m or more to UCL for research, student support and capital projects which have long-term impact on UCL and the world. Members of the Circle range from individuals and family-run trusts and foundations to national and international businesses and charities. 

The UCL Cancer Institute is a priority project for UCL’s It’s All Academic Campaign to raise over £600 million. Our mission is to enable researchers from across UCL and our industry partners to discover kinder, more effective cancer treatments that will result in patients living longer. The research out of UCL Cancer Institute is just one step UCL is taking to help tackle the global epidemic of cancer. For further information about UCL’s cancer research, click here. To support the centre, please click here


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Credit: David Potter Photography