8 March 2019
Galileo is said to have muttered ‘E pur, si muove!’ – ‘And yet, it moves’ as he left the courtroom in which he had been forced to concede that the sun moved round a fixed earth. Today, these words could be used to under-pin the value of MR-Linacs in radiotherapy.
24 January 2019
How would you react if I told you I could calculate your age if I took a sample of your blood? I wouldn’t be lying! Every day our cells are exposed to damaging agents that can cause harmful changes which accumulate over time and lead to ageing related diseases such as cancer. Quantifying these changes has allowed scientists to develop models that calculate a person’s biological age, a measure of the “well-being” of their cells.
I was a Final Year medical student when David Weatherall was appointed Professor of Haematology in Liverpool University in 1973. He was an outstanding Lecturer, extremely popular with the students and helped to make Haematology an exciting and popular subject.
We work in cancer research. When all the lab work is done, our dream is that the long hours will lead to a change in cancer treatment and a better outcome for those who have to take the cancer journey. Research is a scientific business often driven by personal goals, a mixture of curiosity and a desire to publish and build a career. But in our world there are people living with cancer today who have a very different set of desires for our work.
20 November 2018
Researchers James Allison and Tasuku Honjo have won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for their pioneering work on cancer immunotherapy. Hailed as a revolution in the treatment of cancer, immunotherapy works by boosting the body’s natural defences against cancer. The immune system has an innate ability to seek out and destroy cancer cells. However, cancer cells can develop cunning ways to avoid this surveillance system.
In October 1843 Ada Lovelace published a set of notes which included a description of an algorithm to compute Bernoulli numbers on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. Ada Lovelace Day in early October celebrates the achievements of women in science. It also marked the start of Sylvana Hassanieh’s journey towards her PhD at the Department of Oncology, University of Oxford.
We are slowly trickling back into labs and offices as we are approaching the end of the summer, and what better way to welcome the start of term than by looking back on one of our summer outreach efforts?
In June, Claire Brooks attended the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago where the AspECT trial results were presented. She writes here about both the conference and the challenging process of getting the results published in time!
We must reach out to the people who fund our work; some of these are adults across the UK who donate to Cancer Research UK or pay their taxes. Dr Mario Munoz Pinto (on the left in the photo below) reached out and found that one way to a parent’s heart and mind may be through their children.
On Friday, 18th May the postdocs of the Department of Oncology met for their 6th Annual Away Day. The event was organised by the Oncology Postdoc Network Committee (OPN) and for the third year running, the event was held at the Oxford Martin School in the heart of Oxford on Broad Street.
Applying to Oxford is a daunting prospect. For many students in their last year of school, the idea of going to Oxford seems so far out of reach that it’s not worth applying. For others, Oxford seems like a place where they couldn’t fit in or make a success of their time here. A number of people have set out to challenge these perceptions. Amongst them The University itself and a teacher training scheme called ‘Teach First’.
How do we attract tomorrow’s brightest research students? Step 1: Make sure they know we exist. We don’t teach undergraduates; you can’t study oncology at A’ level. We need to give them a chance to explore how physics can cure cancer. How biology leads us to a better understanding of cancer, and how chemistry helps us design imaging agents that will guide therapy choices.
27 March 2019
When Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book character Charlie Bucket buys a Wonka bar and finds the final golden ticket, he starts his now famous journey of discovery at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Charlie, like most children, loves chocolate and his visit to the factory not only indulges his passion but also inspires deep scientific curiosity. In the end, the boy’s humility and desire for discovery convinces Wonka to name Charlie as his successor.
23 March 2018
I really like to participate in outreach programmes. It is a unique chance to master a short explanation of a complex scientific idea and present it to the public and a useful skill for both social and professional occasions.
6 June 2019
Engaging people with our science is a job for all. We have some amazing people in Oncology and some of them are not afraid to get out of their comfort zone. In this blog, Roxy Peerless, from our finance group, shows once again that public engagement is not just for scientists.