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Crocus Appeal delivers advanced cancer medicine research to Bradford


The University of Bradford has bought new equipment enabling new generation cancer drug discovery work thanks to the generosity of partners and the people of Bradford and its extensive alumni family.

The Bradford Crocus Cancer Appeal has delivered the funds for the University to buy a cutting edge new generation proteomics mass spectrometer. The equipment has been delivered and installed at the University’s Institute of Cancer Therapeutics.

The appeal was a local charitable initiative between the University, Yorkshire Cancer Research, The Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust and the Telegraph and Argus.

The appeal was launched following the University hosting the British Science Festival in 2011. There, the University announced the development of a cancer ‘smart bomb’ drug that has the potential to destroy solid tumours. The treatment is derived from colchicine, a natural compound that occurs in the autumn crocus.

The aim of the appeal was to improve the number of opportunities for the discovery and development of new cancer medicines at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics.

Professor Richard Greene, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: “This equipment will increase the pace at which we can develop the anti-cancer medicines of the future.

“This state-of-the-art mass spectrometer will greatly help our scientists to understand the roles that particular proteins play in the development and spread of cancer. A clearer understanding of which proteins are important will make it possible to design drugs to disrupt the actions of those proteins and thereby suggest new treatments for cancer.

“The Crocus Appeal has been a tremendous success and I would like to thank everybody who was involved including our partners, the businesses, organisations and communities of Bradford as well as benefactors from further afield and the worldwide network of University of Bradford alumni. Their generosity has ensured that scientists at the University are now in an even better position to conduct world-leading research in the area of proteomics and use that new knowledge to help develop new anti-cancer medicines.”

Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are extremely proud to have been involved in the Bradford Crocus Cancer Appeal. The support of people living and working in the city, along with the University’s alumni, has been outstanding and we’d like to thank everyone who donated towards the cause.

“We are passionate about improving cancer outcomes in Yorkshire and this includes bringing innovative treatments to our patients. This piece of equipment will ensure that Bradford remains at the forefront of cancer drug discovery.”

Russ Piper, chief executive of Sovereign Health Care, and trustee of the Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have contributed £200,000 to the purchase of this piece of equipment and help vital research, carried out in Bradford, continue. It was important for us to support the Crocus Appeal as it fits well with the charitable trust’s core objective of helping organisations that improve the health and wellbeing of people in Bradford and the surrounding area. We now look forward greatly to seeing the breakthroughs in cancer treatment that this new machine will help make possible.”

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