Skip to main content

Together we are beating cancer

Donate now

NCRI Informatics initiative nominated for Times higher project of the year

The Cancer Research UK logo
by Cancer Research UK | News

1 November 2005

0 comments 0 comments

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Informatics Initiative has been short-listed for the Times Higher Research Project of the Year Award 2005.

The goal of the Initiative is to bring together data gained in every area of cancer science and medicine – from the molecule through to the largest population studies – into one fully integrated and accessible knowledge base.

It is hoped that by pulling all of these diverse sources of data together the researchers will open up new avenues for study. Making cancer research data available and accessible – in accordance with confidentiality and security standards – will streamline the translation of cancer research into better prevention, treatment and care.

Professor Richard Begent, Chairman of the NCRI Informatics Task Force, says: “This project offers us the chance to comprehensively map the terrain of cancer research. This will become increasingly important as growth in understanding of the disease accelerates which, in turn, will drive the discovery of new anti-cancer treatments.

The Initiative has drawn together expertise from different Universities across the UK with the purpose of addressing this key issue.

Jane Cope, Administrative Director of the NCRI, says: “We are enablers. We have brought together a consortium of funders to start building the research infrastructure of the future. Richard Begent’s team have already made inroads into this important task.”

Professor Anthony Finkelstein, Head of the UCL Department of Computer Science, who nominated the project for the award, says: “The NCRI Informatics Initiative exemplifies higher education in the UK. The project is strategic, imaginative, of high scientific value and will capture the imagination of scientific and public communities alike.”

The NCRI Informatics Initiative is currently supported by the Medical Research Council, Department of Health, Cancer Research UK, AstraZeneca, Wellcome Trust, The Institute of Cancer Research, Scottish Executive Health Department and Welsh Assembly Government.

Professor Alex Markham, Chairman of the NCRI, says: “Advances in scientific inquiry and modern technology are triggering the creation of huge amounts of new data, which is bursting out of the cancer research community in the UK – information that can range from the results of a clinical trial through to new information about how certain proteins interact in cancerous cells. This initiative is vital if we are to fully understand how all this information fits together.

“We must operate on a global basis and the Initiative has formed international links with similar programmes in the United States and Europe to ensure the development of a common, truly international and comprehensive cancer research tool.”


For media enquiries contact Steve Palmer in the press office on 020 7061 8312 or, out of hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264059.