Centre Co-Directors: Professor Daniel Hochhauser and Professor Henning Walczak
The Cancer Research UK Centre at UCL is part of a national network of centres funded by Cancer Research UK dedicated to delivering world-leading research, improved patient care and greater local engagement.
Vision and strategy
Our vision for the CRUK–UCL Centre is to advance world-class research into the causes of cancers, to understand why they grow, spread and resist current treatments, and to use this knowledge to develop new drugs and therapies, especially for cancers which are hard to treat successfully and have poor long-term survival rates when compared with other common cancers.
By bringing together researchers and clinicians from UCL and its partner hospital trusts, the Centre aims to create a focal point for cancer research at UCL to accelerate the discovery of new treatment regimens to improve cancer survival rates, aligning closely with UCL’s strategic priorities.
The Centre has developed a breadth of expertise to improve cancer patient outcomes. By advancing areas such as tumour immunology, cancer vaccines, adoptive immunotherapy, T-cell engineering and vector design, the Centre is primed to deliver gene, cellular and immune-based cancer therapies to support advances in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of cancers.
Translating research discoveries
Similarly, through broadening our engagement with partner institutions, we can maximise the chances of rapid discovery and translation of findings to impact cancer across a wide population base. As a founding member of UCLPartners - an integrated healthcare system which serves a patient population of over 6 million across 40 partner hospitals - the Centre is well placed to formalise interactions and make further connections with aligned institutions, fostering a unified strategic agenda in cancer research. For example, together with the Crick, Barts/Queen Marys University of London (QMUL) and KCL, we plan to build in the area of biotherapies, where we have all invested heavily in recent years, thereby enhancing and accelerating our translational pipeline, at a scale unpreceded in the UK.
The Centre is developing multidisciplinary interactions with other faculties and networks at UCL, including Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Neuroscience and Immunology. We have established strong national collaborations to enhance our translational research capabilities including our joint Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence with Manchester, the Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre together with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust/ KCL/ St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School and a clinical portfolio with Barts/ QMUL. Our international links, for example with Yale Cancer Center (Yale School of Medicine) and Sarah Cannon Research Institute, will greatly strengthen our ability to have a major impact in the fight against cancer.
Through the CRUK-funded clinical and non-clinical PhD studentship programme, the Centre supports the next generation of cancer researchers through their academic and clinical careers. The Centre has developed a research engagement strategy aimed at raising the profile of cancer research and CRUK, within the UCL Cancer Institute, London and nationwide.