The Imperial College of London and the Institute of Cancer Research UK has launched the new £13 million Convergence Science Centre, bringing together researchers from different scientific disciplines to develop a range of innovative cancer techniques.
Cancer experts Paul Workman from ICR and Lord Ara Darzi from Imperial College of London lead this dynamic, innovative center integrating knowledge and methods, not to mention the expertise from a range of important disciplines from physics to data science and artificial intelligence, to engineering and biological sciences and medicine.
The Centre will run a number of important projects, such as determining whether a therapeutic ultrasound technique called histotripsy can be adopted to destroy pancreatic tumors located deep within the body.
In another project, research teams will refine a technique used for autoimmune disease to peer into the activation of immune cells within a tumor in real time. The team is focused on bringing oncologists and bioinformaticians together to investigate the delicate balance between how “tumour-killing and tumour-promoting immune can tip as cancer evolves.” The hope is that this technology can be mobilized to help investigators gain clarity on why immunotherapies work on some cancer patients but not others in the quest for more personalization in cancer research, as reported in Physics World.
Convergence Centre Themes
The Convergence Centre will concentrate on the following themes:
- Early Detection
- Therapy Monitoring
- Convergence Therapeutics
- Data Science
Paul Workman is the director.
About the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)
A public research institute and constituent college of the University of London, UK, the ICR specializes in oncology. Founded in 1909 as a research department of the Royal Marsden Hospital, it joined the University of London in 2003. The ICR has been involved with a number of breakthrough discoveries, including that the basic cause of cancer is damage to DNA.
Occupying prestigious sites in Chelsea, Central London and Sutton, Southwest London, the ICR offers both postgraduate degree programs as well as research degrees; it currently has about 340 students.
The Largest Comprehensive Cancer Center in Europe
Together with the Royal Marsden Hospital, the ICR forms the largest comprehensive cancer center in Europe according to a report in The Independent and was ranked first among all British higher education institutions in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework Table of Excellence. ICR has been ranked at the highest levels—world leading according to rankings.
The ICR receives its external grant funding from the government body the Higher Education Funding Council for England, from government research council bodies and from charities, including the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Now and Bloodwise. It also receives voluntary income from legacies and from public and corporate donations. The ICR also runs a number of fundraising appeals and campaigns that help support a variety of cancer research projects.