UCL News


UCL clinician awarded Cancer Research UK bursary

2 February 2005

UCL's Dr Neil Patani (Surgery) is one of the first to receive a new research bursary from Cancer Research UK.

Dr Neill Patani The Core Skills and Training Bursaries Fund aims to provide promising young clinicians with the opportunity to participate in clinical and laboratory-based research projects during their clinical training.

Dr Patani, a surgical trainee, will use the bursary to conduct a 12-month joint research project between UCL and Westminster University. Senior Lecturer and Consultant Surgeon Mr Michael Douek (Surgery) will supervise Dr Patani's research at UCL.

He explained: "The research objective is to determine the utility of the protein Helix Pomatia Agglutinin (HPA) as a tool for the identification of metastatic breast cancer, particularly to the lymph nodes. Proteins found on breast cancer cells are now known to differ to those found in normal breast cells. Some of these differences are due to changes in the complex sugar residues on the proteins - glycoproteins - and these may be important in the spread of breast cancer to secondary sites."

Michael Douek

Dr Patani is keen to utilise this opportunity to further his career in surgical oncology and contribute to this largely unexplored area. "The intensity of research activity in this field is reflected by the growth of translational research in general. Projects like this, which bring together surgeons and scientists, are essential to bridge the gap between the exciting discoveries in the laboratory and clinical practice. Having completed my medical education at UCL, and worked as a senior house officer, I am delighted to be able to contribute to the Department of Surgery."

Cancer Research UK's Senior Research Manager Dr Simon Vincent is responsible for personal awards and fellowships. He said: "We know how difficult it can be for clinicians such as Dr Patani to combine laboratory research with their medical training. But, if the work that Cancer Research UK funds is going to bring benefit to cancer patients, then it is vital that doctors are involved at all stages of research. We hope that Dr Patani, and other researchers funded by this scheme, will provide the link between the laboratory and the clinic."

To find out more about the department of surgery or Cancer Research UK use the links below.

UCL's Department of Surgery
Cancer Research UK