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Welcome from the Director

Despite major advances in cancer treatment over the last 30 years, many cancers remain effectively untreatable due to difficulty in diagnosing them and their ability to resist drugs and radiation. It has become clear that an integrated approach is needed for the discovery of new cancer drugs and diagnostic tests, and it was primarily in response to this need that the ICT grew, under the leadership of its previous director Prof Laurence Patterson, to incorporate key research activities that could share expertise and work together to provide a pathway for the development of novel cancer therapeutics.

I am extremely passionate about the work of the ICT. We are proud to be one of only a few centres nationally with all the facilities and research expertise to take anticancer medicines and biomarkers from concept to clinic.

We have an excellent track record of research, with 92% of the Institute’s research outputs and 100% of our impact and environment studies being placed in the 4* and 3* categories in the REF2014 exercise.  We are working hard to build on this for the next REF exercise.

The Centre is looking to expand its research and take on more research students that will grow and contribute to the research aims of the team.  We are focussing on developing clinical trials for new drugs and working with more commercial partners to achieve that and share our research expertise.  We are also expanding in emerging research areas, such as immunotherapy and proteomics.

Browse our Website or download our ICT Brochure to find out more about our research activity. 

We look forward to working with you in the future.

Professor Richard Morgan, Professor of Molecular Oncology and Director of the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics

About the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics

The ICT is a purpose-built facility for cancer drug design, synthesis, pre-clinical pharmacology and Phase I trial PKPD laboratory support.  The four floors of the building provide space for chemistry, cancer pharmacology and translational research in addition to commercial activity.  We offer the latest laboratory equipment, including our new generation proteomics mass spectrometer, funded by The Bradford Crocus Cancer Appeal.

192 x 288

The Institute has extensive laboratories for cancer drug design and development, including dedicated Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) facilities, and modern medicinal chemistry facilities. In addition, the University Analytical Centre is directly accessible from the Institute and holds the key capital equipment to support discovery and pre-clinical programmes.

The Institute provides collaborative research support to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.  The close link with the Analytical Centre allows further drug development and formulation work to be conducted as an addition to any projects conducted by the Institute.

Establishment of the ICT

In 2005 the centre took on a new identity as the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, to recognise the linking of Yorkshire Cancer Research funded chemistry with CRUK funded pharmacology and NTRAC funded translational research.  From 2007 onwards the Institute had a wide portfolio of funding including major sponsorship from Yorkshire Cancer Research as well as support from the Crocus Appeal, EPSRC, MRC, ECMC, Yorkshire Forward, pharma, biotech and several cancer charities.

The newly formed Institute built upon over 30 years of cancer research experience at Bradford and brought together in one interactive team experts in medicinal chemistry, pre-clinical and clinical pharmacology.

Background to Cancer Research

Cancer research started at Bradford in the mid-1970s with the formation of the Whyte-Watson Turner Cancer Research Trust. Originally, local charities raised funds to support the Trust. By the early 1980s, the level of funding increased through successful grant applications to national charities, government bodies, and other sources, leading to a significant rise in research activity including drug development, and ultimately the formal establishment of the Clinical Oncology Unit on the University of Bradford campus. In the following years, the Clinical Oncology Unit established a reputation in the pre-clinical evaluation of anticancer agents and developed all the laboratory-based skills to support Phase 1 clinical trials. 

Breast Cancer Chemotherapy Development in Bradford: 1950's and 1960's. An essay.

The Institute of Cancer Therapeutics is a purpose-built facility for cancer drug design, synthesis, pre-clinical pharmacology and Phase I trial PKPD laboratory support. 

Professor Tom Conners

Professor Tom Connors   

Thomas Anthony Connors

BSc, PhD, DSc, FIBiol 1934-2002

After a long battle against prostate cancer Tom passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Monday 4th February 2002, a true irony for someone who's research had contributed so much in the fight against cancer and made such an outstanding contribution to the whole cancer research community.

Without a doubt Tom Connors was one of the best known and most popular figures in Cancer Research. He had been involved in the development of new anti-cancer drugs for 40 years and probably for the last 30 years had been regarded as one of the world's leading authorities in this area of research. During his career he had served on just about every National and International Committee of importance to his field, indeed he had chaired most as well. He was the only non-American to ever serve on the President's advisory committee.

About Tom

Tom was born in Mortlake in 1934 and educated at Wimbledon College. He graduated from University College London with a Special Physiology Honours degree in 1957. It was then that a family friend, the late Professor Walter Ross, who was one of the most eminent chemists to work in cancer research, persuaded him to consider cancer research as a career and study with him at the Chester Beatty Research Institute for a Ph. D. This Tom did and gained his Ph.D in organic chemistry in 1960 and so began his career in experimental cancer chemotherapy. Later his career expanded into toxicology and between 1976 and 1991 he was the Director of the MRC Toxicology Research Unit and went on to make a major contribution to this field and gain respect and admiration from the Toxicology community.

His work

Many of today's senior cancer research workers passed through his hands, as students, post-doctoral fellows or visiting workers. His message was simple, without a sound understanding of the biology of the cancer process and the pharmacology of anti-cancer agents it would be impossible to develop more effective anti-cancer therapies. His emphasis on this message to the scientific community was greatly appreciated by his clinical colleagues and has served to bring a great unity of purpose into the whole process of developing new anti-cancer drugs.

Tom had a long association with the Cancer Research Campaign, he had served as Chairman of the Scientific Committee and the Grants Committee and several other important sub-committees. However his most inspired and successful involvement with them must have been the formation of the Phase I/II Drug Development Committee. The work of this committee has clearly made Great Britain the world leader in the development of new anti-cancer drugs. Tom also served on the committee of management of the Institute of Cancer Research and Board of Governors of the Royal Marsden Hospital.

After a long battle against prostate cancer Tom passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Monday 4th February 2002, a true irony for someone who's research had contributed so much in the fight against cancer and made such an outstanding contribution to the whole cancer research community.

Without a doubt Tom Connors was one of the best known and most popular figures in Cancer Research. He had been involved in the development of new anti-cancer drugs for 40 years and probably for the last 30 years had been regarded as one of the world's leading authorities in this area of research. During his career he had served on just about every National and International Committee of importance to his field, indeed he had chaired most as well. He was the only non-American to ever serve on the President's advisory committee.

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