Today, around 30 of the UK’s leading brain tumour researchers will be meeting in Milton Keynes at the annual research workshop of our Centres of Research Excellence. This provides the researchers with an opportunity to come together to exchange ideas and develop new proposals for collaboration and the establishment of novel research ideas.
Our Centres of Research Excellence do not function in isolation but form a strong network which allows for the sharing of information and expertise so that we can get maximal value from our investment and move closer towards our goal of a cure for brain tumours. Earlier this year, for example, our Centres in Plymouth University and Imperial College, London, published a collaborative report which identified specific changes which have taken place in tumour cells and how these may direct us to the identification of new therapies for the treatment of low-grade tumours including schwannoma and meningioma.
The scientists from each Centre will provide an update on their research progress to date, particularly highlighting how they have been developing new areas of expertise and collaborations. These will then form the basis of a broader discussion on how they can complement each other and how they can form the basis of new research studies within the Centres. The younger researchers will also be provided with an opportunity to present their most recent research and to discuss this with the others present at the meeting. This will give them valuable feedback on the research that they have carried out in order to help them to develop future studies.
In addition to funding world-class research, the charity also aims to support continuous and sustainable research capacity through the training of the next generation of brain tumour investigators. So, it is important that we provide an opportunity for our younger researchers to develop their careers. On Thursday morning, they will meet with representatives from other funding bodies, including the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK, in order to find out what funding opportunities exist for them to develop their own research careers and establish their own groups. This is key if we are to increase the capacity for research in this area within the UK.
The researchers will also meet with our campaigning and communications teams in order to provide them with a greater insight into these aspects of the charity and how then can help us to promote our work and the vital need for future investment into brain tumour research.
You can follow the workshop on twitter at #BTRES2017 and a full report will be posted afterwards.