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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year

Farewell to Professor Geoff Pilkington

Yesterday, at the University of Portsmouth, the career of a remarkable scientist was celebrated. Professor Geoff Pilkington is retiring and luminaries from the clinical, scientific, charity and celebrity world took their turn to recognise a man who has dedicated his whole working life to the progression of science toward a cure for brain tumours.

Following an introduction to the packed lecture theatre by Professor Sherria Hoskins, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health, attendees heard from contributors as varied as Professor Garth Cruickshank (Emeritus Professor of Neurosurgery and Chair of our SMAB, Mr Kevin O’Neill (Consultant Neuro-surgeon and Principal Investigator at our Imperial College research centre), Dr Laura Donovan (Post-doctoral Fellow from the world-leading  The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Canada who began her career in the Portsmouth lab) as well as Mr Garath Archer (Former England Rugby Union International). 

The charity section was hosted by actor and brain tumour activist Sheila Hancock CBE and included a presentation from our Chief Executive Sue Farrington Smith MBE who recalled the setting up of our Portsmouth Centre nine years ago.

Over that period Portsmouth research overseen by Professor Pilkington has been multi-faceted with specialisms in;

  • The Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB): His team pioneered a number of flexible 3D all human cell models of the BBB and the brain’s blood vessels for use in static and dynamic experiments
  • Therapeutics: Portsmouth studies have led to important new insights into the effects at a cellular level of repurposed, reformulated and novel drugs
  • Mitochondria and Metabolism
  • Tumour Micro-environment
  • Paediatric Neuro-oncology

With the retirement of Professor Pilkington, research into brain tumours at the University of Portsmouth is entering an exciting new phase and taking the research conducted there on to a new, wider neuroscience direction. The University will continue to focus its research on brain disorders and, building on our investment over the last decade, growing its neuro-oncology research. 

Today we have published a statement on our funding of brain tumour research at the University of Portsmouth which can be read here.


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