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.
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.
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.
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.