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Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Neurosciences and brain tumour research: joining forces for greater impact

by Anna Berankova

When you are diagnosed with a brain tumour, the impact on you and those around you is immense. For the Realf family, their response to losing their son Stephen to this dreadful disease was to start an online petition asking the UK Government for more money to be invested in brain tumour research. The Brain Tumour Research charity, along with their fantastic supporters, helped them to get over 120,000 signatures. The result has been a cascade of positive events, the latest being the announcement of a ground breaking workshop that will bring together the neuroscience and brain tumour research communities in order to work together to find a cure.

The parliamentary debate on the funding of brain tumour research in the UK, that was sparked by the e-petition, led to the founding of a Task and Finish Working Group, chaired by Chris Whitty (Department of Health and Social Care Chief Scientific Advisor). Our Chief Executive Sue Farrington Smith and Nathan Richardson, Head of Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the Medical Research Council, were active members of this Group. A report by the group was published in February 2018, which identified significant opportunities for the brain tumour and neuroscience communities to work in partnership.

In response to the report, the Medical Research Council and the Brain Tumour Research charity are jointly organising a workshop with the purpose of

  • Highlighting some of the most exciting technologies and techniques currently available, as well as those under development
  • Building partnerships between neuroscience and brain tumour researchers
  • Discussing funding opportunities for multidisciplinary applications aiming to tackle the challenges facing brain tumour research.

This workshop is free to eligible researchers, and will take place on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 in London.

The event will consist of moderated discussions with active participation from attendees, focusing on:

  • Cellular models, emerging technologies and systems biology
  • Biomarkers, early diagnostics, therapeutics and patient stratification
  • Drug delivery, microenvironment and stroma, vasculature and the brain-blood barrier, immunomodulation
  • Functional imaging, EEG, MRI, animal models to patients

There will also be a plenary lecture by Professor John Hardy, Institute of Neurology, University College London, an overview of available funding schemes for cancer research at the Medical Research Council, and plenty of opportunities for networking and informal discussions.

A final workshop agenda is available on the Medical Research Council website

How to register for the workshop

We expect that participants will be positioned to lead new research activities and seek Medical Research Council funding. Applications for this workshop are open to researchers with expertise in either neurosciences or brain tumours who are considering projects that might benefit from multidisciplinary expertise.

To apply, please fill in this online survey.

Applications must be received by 17:00 on 18th September 2018.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome via email by the end of September 2018.

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