Centres of Excellence

University of Portsmouth

The first Centre of Excellence was established in 2010 at the University of Portsmouth. Many of our members and local supporters have supported this Centre and the work being undertaken by the expert team of brain tumour researchers at Portsmouth led by Professor Geoff Pilkington and his team of specialist researchers within the Cellular and Molecular Neuro-Oncology Group are working tirelessly to find new levels of understanding in one of the most complicated and challenging battle-grounds in medicine today: to achieve a full understanding of all types of brain tumour and the methods required to cure them.

The Centre has grown from strength to strength and is now supported by brain tumour charities HeadcaseOllie Young FoundationDr Hadwen Trust and Children with Cancer, and is the largest dedicated brain tumour research centre in the UK.

The other three new Centres are:

Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with UCL Institute of Neurology

Research led by Professor Silvia Marino, a leading brain tumour scientist and neuropathologist based within Queen Mary’s BlizardInstitute, will specialise in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Professor Sheer, also from Queen Mary, and Professor Brandner and Dr Rees at UCL Institute of Neurology will be the other key partners in this initiative.

The research will focus on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and most aggressive type of malignant brain tumour found in humans. The aim of the research is to increase our understanding of the cells within the brain from which GBM originates. The team will look at how this particular type of brain tumour develops from normal cells, and which genes and biological functions control its behaviour. By uncovering this essential knowledge, the clinical evaluation of each individual patient can be improved and better and more specific drugs which target the tumour cells can be identified.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (London)

The partnership with Imperial College Healthcare will contribute to trials led by Mr Kevin O’Neill, a consultant neurosurgeon at the Trust, and a team of world-class researchers to investigate the biology of tumour metabolisms to further understand the behaviour of this disease. The team will also be able to extend their use of innovative 3D real time surgical imaging.

Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry

The Peninsula team led by Professor Oliver Hanemann has a world-leading track record in researching low-grade brain tumours occurring in teenagers and adults. By identifying and understanding the mechanism that makes a cell become cancerous, the team explore ways in which to halt or reverse that mechanism. A key innovation is fast track: testing new drugs in human primary cell cultures leading to innovative phase 0 trials leading to adaptive phase II/III trials with the potential for making drug therapies available to patients both safely and faster.