by Stephanie Ospina (@ospinamfj), Sophie Luckett, Aleandra Bielikova (@AlexBielikova)
A TEAM of four professors from the University of Southampton have become part of a digital pathology research network, sponsored by Cancer Research UK.
Cancer Research launched a new awards scheme last Wednesday – The Network Accelerator Award- which will invest £15 million into collaborative cancer research projects across the UK.
An investment of £3.6 million will be given to one of four research projects, joined by the University of Southampton, with a focus on developing a national digital pathology programme.
Team’s of pathologist’s, biologist’s and immunologist’s from Belfast Cancer Research, Universities of Southampton, Manchester, Newcastle, University College London and Institute of Cancer Research, will come together to create a network that will best use potential of each establishment. With an aim to create research on a national scale, under the leadership of the Queen’s University Belfast.
The team from University of Southampton consists of Professor of Oncology Peter Johnson, Professor of experimental Medicine Christian Ottensmeier, Dr. Pandurangan Vijayanand and Professor of Experimental Pathology Gareth Thomas.
“The ultimate aim for the project is to bring modern sophisticated analysis to how we diagnose cancer, how we predict what sort of treatment it will respond to best,” said professor Johnson.
Doctors using traditional way’s of diagnosing cancer would have to do a biopsy and examine the cells under a microscope. However, the digital pathology programme Dr. Jonhson and his colleagues are working on will make it possible to obtain a deeper understanding of cancer and provide a quicker, more detailed diagnosis to clinicians.
“We can relate what the cancer looks like to the genetic change that takes place in the molecular abnormality that are present in different types of cancer,” said Dr. Johnson.
The University of Leicester, The Francis Crick Institute and University College London will lead the other three projects that are part of The Network Accelerator Award.
Cancer research UK will be funding the networking until 2020 with money received by donations, and from the profit of their charity stores across the UK.