£20m appeal launches to rebuild cancer laboratories damaged by fire

Melanie May | 2 December 2019 | News

Cancer Research UK, The Christie and The University of Manchester have launched a £20m collaborative fundraising campaign to help fund the rebuild of cancer laboratories that were extensively damaged by fire in 2017.  
The fire saw more than 300 scientists and support staff displaced from the Paterson building and temporarily located at Alderley Park in Cheshire.
Launched by Cancer Research UK, The Christie and The University of Manchester, the ‘Re-Write Cancer’ campaign aims to raise £20m through public donations, philanthropy and fundraising events.  To mark its launch, three benches are being unveiled in locations across Greater Manchester, each one detailing the individual story of someone who has survived cancer.
Reframing the idea of a memorial bench, each one is dedicated to someone still alive: their survival thanks to progress in cancer research. One of the benches belongs to BBC broadcaster Mark Radcliffe, who was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2018. The benches highlight how cancer survival is increasing, and the impact the new building will have accelerating life-saving research.

Twice the size of the original, the £150m new facility is due to open in 2022 and will bring together the largest concentration of scientists, doctors and nurses in Europe to collaborate and accelerate progress for cancer patients. Their work will focus on advancing personalised cancer prevention, and the early detection and treatment of the disease.
Adjoining The Christie, the building has been designed to promote collaboration in an interdisciplinary environment and accelerate progress with cells and samples from patients able to reach the research lab in minutes. By 2030, the building will also be at the heart of an ambition to lead the world in clinical trial recruitment, supporting the development of new and kinder cancer therapies.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK said:

“The fire at the Paterson building was devastating, but from this awful event comes an opportunity to rebuild. To rewrite the story and make it one of reinvention and renewal. The cutting-edge, world-class facility we will build will not only benefit the people of Manchester and the UK but will have a global impact. We will attract the best and brightest minds to collaborate and push the boundaries of what is possible across disciplines to break new ground in research. The work we do here will help extend and saves lives across the UK and beyond.
“We have the talent, understanding and technology but to realise our ambition, we need help. I hope people can see the huge impact this building will have in rewriting the future and helping more people survive cancer and give their support to the fundraising campaign.”

Main image: Mark Radcliffe and his bench at Manchester University. Picture by Paul Heyes.

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