£15 million cancer research coup

December 15, 2004

Cancer and cell-ageing researchers working at the Wales College of Medicine at Cardiff University, UK, have secured over 15 million UK pounds to study cancer and DNA damage. These awards put Cardiff at the very forefront of international research in this area and will fund the design of new therapies to combat cancer.

DNA is the genetic material that enables living things to function and is constantly subjected to damage by natural radiation and chemicals in our environment. As a result all living organisms have developed ways to repair DNA. These processes are central to the survival of life on earth. Unless DNA damage is repaired it will lead to mutation or cancer, whereas defects in an individual's repair capacity are linked to cancer-prone diseases, a malfunctioning immune system or premature ageing.

Professor Ray Waters heads a new Medical Research Council (MRC) co-operative looking at DNA damage and disease established for a group of outstanding researchers all with interests in DNA repair, cancer and ageing. The group includes Professor Alan Clarke from the School of Biosciences, Professor David Kipling, Dr. Christopher Jones, Dr. Simon Reed, Professor Julian Sampson, Professor Paul Smith, and Professor David Wynford-Thomas all from the Wales College of Medicine

Professor Waters said, "The establishment of this internationally competitive, dynamic Medical Research Council co-operative is a major coup for Wales. By unravelling the complexities of how cells maintain their chromosomes we will be able to establish the cancer risks for individuals, to design new anti-cancer drugs and advise on exposure limits for workers in various industries. This group provides a focus for attracting further scientists of the highest international repute to Wales."

Cardiff University

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