Our Cancer Research UK Clinical Academic Training (CAT) Programme Award (2019-24) provides early career clinician scientists with greater flexibility, by offering a wider range of clinical academic career pathways. Clinician scientists are an invaluable group in our research community; they bridge the gap between bench and bedside, and play a pivotal role in translating discovery into clinical use.
A key development in our CAT Programme Award is our MB-PhD training route, which enables aspiring clinician scientists to undertake the vocational training of a medical degree in tandem with the research expertise of a PhD. Our first cohort of MB-PhD students intercalated onto their cancer sciences PhDs in 2020. Following completion of their PhDs, they will return to their final years of undergraduate study, whilst continuing to engage with their research groups.
On 14th March 2022, we welcomed our 2019-20 and 2020-21 MB-PhD students to the Oglesby Cancer Research Building for an in-person celebration of this training scheme.
Professor Andrew Renehan welcomed our attendees, and highlighted the diverse talents of our Manchester postgraduates. He noted the ‘One Manchester’ approach to cancer research at the University of Manchester, where cancer is one of five university research beacons.
We then heard from our most recent cohort of MB-PhD students, Alexia Strickson, (supervised by Professor Tim Somervaille) who spoke about her research on ‘Microenvironmental regulation of malignant blood clones in myelofibrosis’ and David Withey (supervised by Professor Robert Clarke), who discussed his research on, ‘Investigation of the pro-tumour microenvironment of CNS (brain and leptomeningeal) metastases in secondary breast cancer’.
Our next speakers included our first MB-PhD recruits. Hadiyat Ogunlayi (supervised by Professor Cliona Kirwan) discussed ‘Investigating the relationship between a stromal wound healing phenotype and breast density’ and Macarena Fernandez Carro (supervised by Dr Adam Hurlstone) spoke about ‘Exploiting tumour-promoting paracrine signals in solid cancers to boost genetically redirected T cells’.
Macarena Fernandez Carro
The talks concluded with Nadin Hawwash (supervised by Professor Andrew Renehan), who introduced her work on ‘ Adolescent and adulthood BMI And Cancer risk using obese-year metrics (ABACus 2)’.
Audience members had the opportunity to ask questions of our speakers before networking over drinks and refreshments.
The Cancer Research UK MB-PhD programme is accepting applications for 2021-22 recruits. Please see here for further details.
Details of the Kennedy Trust MB-PhD programme can be accessed here.
Current MB-PhD Students celebrating after their talks