Often unsung, but always vital, the importance of the materials and methods needed to make research happen is hard to overstate. Here’s how Cancer Research UK is making it easier for the cancer research community to both contribute and access research tools through our latest initiative – CancerTools.org
Enhancing our understanding of cancer is core to Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) vision for a better future where people can live better lives free from the fear of cancer. Supporting discoveries is therefore crucial and fundamental to this is the curation of CancerTools.org – CRUK’s new research tools arm.
We support you, the cancer research community, in many ways to make discoveries. Obviously, we are known as a funder of a broad research portfolio and for making long-term investments in facilities. We also foster collaboration at our events, and form partnerships around the world to deliver research. But this isn’t the end of our support – we have always known the best research requires access to the best tools.
From the right cell lines and culture media to the best experimental models and most selective antibodies, the research tools you use are key to your success. However, getting hold of exactly the tool you need isn’t always straightforward. Thousands of these important materials are scattered across labs worldwide and are not easily accessible. And we have been working to solve that for a long time.
Making time for work that matters
Cancertools.org is a non-profit, cancer-focused collaborative; a place where researchers can contribute research tools and share knowledge to help each other drive innovation within cancer research.
Research tools are physical, tangible materials (such as antibodies, cell lines and experimental models) developed by scientists in laboratories. These tools are fundamental – enabling scientists to conduct research, confirm results and prove their reproducibility. A breakthrough with a research tool can often enable a whole field of science to progress in ways unimaginable beforehand. Thousands of tools are, of course, already established and research materials exist within labs worldwide. The problem is not a lack of tools but rather the ability to easily access them.
If we can provide a simple and straightforward way for you to contribute your tools, which can then be accessed by the wider research community, we can streamline research and ultimately help make time for work that matters. Built by and for cancer researchers, the collaborative is here to be the home for your cancer research tools by providing a centralised online resource where scientists can contribute and access their materials and methods.
Contribution is of critical value to the community at CancerTools.org. To date, scientists from over 175 academic institutes worldwide have contributed and benefitted from over 40 years of knowledge, capability and experience in managing, maintaining and distributing research tools at a global scale. With this already established network, CancerTools.org has nearly 4,000 tools and over 3,000 publications associated with them.
Time to join
Join the community by contributing your research tools and gain access to the unique and innovative cancer research tools which are already available. But it’s not just the tools themselves; community members can also benefit from invaluable opportunities to collaborate with like-minded researchers.
CancerTools.org is here to kickstart the long-term global impact of your tools and ultimately help accelerate cancer research discoveries. Our team has streamlined the contribution process as much as possible with three easy and straightforward steps:
- Submit information related to the tool you wish to contribute.
- A team member will then liaise with you and relevant personnel to ensure all requirements are met.
- The team will manage and maintain your tools and make them available to the wider cancer research community.
Discover more about how to contribute your tools
The team at CancerTools.org has expertise in assisting with various research tools including:
• Cell lines
• Experimental models
• Small molecules
• And other state of the art technologies
Pawanbir Singh is head of marketing for CancerTools.org
Veronica Afonso is marketing assistant for CancerTools.org