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Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons donation will help University find new treatments for prostate cancer


Researchers using lab equipment

The University of Bradford has received a significant donation from Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons to fund research into new ways of treating prostate cancer.

Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons have pledged £211,632 over a five-year period, to facilitate three PhD research studentships at the University’s Institute of Cancer Therapeutics. The University will contribute £45,000 towards research costs.

The PhD studentships will be named ‘The Masonic Charitable Foundation Bradford Clinical Scholars’ and will look at improving the efficacy of existing therapies for prostate cancer, as well as developing new treatments.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer – one in six UK males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and more than 11,000 people die from the condition each year.

The grant from Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families, and friends, from across England and Wales.

James H Newman OBE, the Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons have recognised the importance of the prostate cancer research being conducted in the heart of our Province at the University of Bradford.

“We are only too well aware that prostate cancer is more likely to affect men of a certain age and, as a good number of our members fall under this category, finding ways of treating those with advanced forms of this deadly disease is to be welcomed.

“As a West Riding Freemason and a past Chairman of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, I am extremely proud that funds raised by our members is being put to such valuable use.”

Prof Sherif El-Khamisy, head of the ICT, said: “The generosity of the Freemasons will fund research into the development and testing of specific treatments for advanced prostate cancer, such as hypoxia-activated prodrugs, which are specifically designed to target prostate tumours. This will improve prognosis, enhance quality of life and ultimately save lives.”

University Vice Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Freemasons for this donation. This investment in PhD studentships will enable our world-renowned Institute for Cancer Therapeutics to support the next generation of researchers.

“We have a long-standing partnership with the Freemasons, which has resulted in significant funding for many aspects of the ICT’s research. This has included donations towards equipment and staff salaries, as well as this most recent gift towards PhD research.”