Cancer research group expands thanks to local donations

Thanks to continued support from the local community, the North West Cancer Research Fund Institute at Bangor University has announced the appointment of a research group leader and the arrival of state of the art equipment.

Founded in 2004 with grants from local charity North West Cancer Research Fund, the Welsh Assembly Government and Bangor University, scientists at the Institute use various technologies to perform cancer research projects to investigate and understand the causes of cancer and how it spreads.

With the highest cancer incidence rate in the UK, cancer research in Wales is of particular importance to the population, and for the past 11 years much of the Institute’s funding has come from donations from the public.

Chairman Dr. Hartsuiker said: “It’s important for us to continually invest in new equipment, technologies and expertise to stay at the forefront of cancer research and the support of active fundraisers in the local area is very important to us. We recently received a generous donation from the Urdd’s “Aelwyd Bro Cernyw” which we used to purchase an important piece of apparatus used by our researchers to fragment and study DNA – which will allow us to expand our studies into the causes of cancer.

“We successfully applied for funding from the Welsh Assembly Government and North West Cancer Research Fund (NWCRF) which has enabled us to bring another research group leader onto the team. This will help expand our ability to perform cutting-edge cancer research at Bangor University.”

As well as understanding the causes of cancer and how it spreads, the team at the Institute also aims to improve diagnostics and treatment for cancer patients, and have been collaborating with NHS consultants in North Wales, Prof. Nick Stuart and Dr. Simon Gollins, to try and translate research findings into practical changes in clinics.

The research groups of Dr. Jane Wakeman and Dr. Ramsay McFarlane have been investigating the way tumours grow and spread, and attempting to identify novel cancer markers that can be used in diagnostics and treatment.

Groups led by Dr. Oliver Fleck and Dr. Edgar Hartsuiker identify and characterise mechanisms that protect cells against cancer or provide resistance against cancer drugs. Dr. David Pryce is interested in developing new technologies for cancer research and diagnostics.

Whilst major funding has come from NWCRF, an independent charity that provides grants to support fundamental cancer research in the North West of England and North and Mid Wales, the Institute is always interested in hearing from people wanting to make a donation, start volunteer fundraising committees or do their bit for vital cancer research.

For more information about supporting the Institute contact Dr. Edgar Hartsuiker, NWCRF Institute, Brambell Building, Deiniol Road, Bangor LL57 2UW, or visit

Publication date: 5 January 2012