Patient, Public Involvement and Engagement

Patient, public involvement, and engagement (PPIE) is an essential two-way process that helps us to drive novel cancer research that has been developed together with patients or members of our community. We are committed to increasing knowledge and understanding of our research amongst our supporters and the general public.

Engagement Activities

Our communications team work closely to deliver a wealth of engagement events aimed at increasing awareness of the research activities taking place in our laboratories and driving the direction of future researchers. Our team work closely with the Cancer Research UK Research Engagement Team and the dedicated Research Engagement Manager for the North to run inspiring laboratory tours and open days, as well as using a variety of other events to increase awareness of cancer research progress in Manchester.


Biannual open days and regular laboratory tours allow Cancer Research UK ambassadors, supporters and fundraisers to meet our scientists and get first-hand experience of our cutting-edge research. Guests can learn about our recent successes and our ambitious plans for the future, and by seeing real research in action are able to appreciate the impact of Cancer Research UK funding.


Away from the lab, we engage the public with our research in creative and collaborative ways. Through involvement in local science festivals, we offer hands-on activities to children and families, often as part of larger science fairs. We have also held public debates – aimed at adults – that give members of the public a chance to meet our researchers and engage in discussion about current issues around cancer research.


Online and through social media we are exploring new avenues to spread the word about our progress in cancer research. In addition, virtual engagement activities enable us to reach a wider audience through exciting and innovative approaches.

We want to develop an environment that welcomes everyone to understand and influence the work we do in the laboratory. Cancer is a global challenge and requires everyone, patients, scientists, doctors, nurses and members of the public to come together and help us beat it.

Dr Joe Mowll-Clarke

Communications Manager, CRUK Manchester Centre

Diversity Champions

Our Diversity Champions work with the local community, patients, and schools to help share what we do as a research community. We hope that their work contributes to making diversity and inclusivity a central feature of our research and research environment.

Find out more about our three Diversity Champions below.


Jean Ling Tan headshot

Name: Jean Ling Tan

Programme: MB-PhD in Cancer Sciences

Lead Supervisor: Professor Stephen Taylor


“I am currently in my second year of the MB PhD in Cancer Sciences programme in Professor Stephen Taylor’s lab. I study potential novel therapeutic combinations with paclitaxel, with the goal of improving chemotherapy response in ovarian cancer.

As a Diversity Champion, I would like to build on the Centre’s existing work on improving accessibility to higher/further education and build further links with the diverse community in Greater Manchester.

Outside of my PhD, I train as a black belt in karate and am a self-proclaimed endurance runner, having recently completed the 2023 Manchester Half Marathon and am now training to complete a full marathon next year!”


Joanne Oke headshot

Name: Joanne Oke

Programme: MB-PhD in Cancer Sciences

Lead Supervisor: Professor Christine Schmidt

Location: Withington Campus, Oglesby Cancer Research Building


“I’m a first year MB-PhD student in Cancer Sciences, funded by Cancer Research UK. I am part of the Genome Stability Lab supervised by Christine Schmidt. My research project aims to improve ovarian cancer by developing cellular microrobots to detect and eradicate ovarian cancer lesions at an early pre-invasive stage in the fallopian tube. Additionally, I am also investigating potential biomarkers found in fallopian tube fluid that can be used to detect ovarian cancer.

I have a special interest in global health and oncology that started from my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science at St George’s University of London. I’m currently Co-Vice President for BAME Medical Society at the University of Manchester, which aims to teach medical students about the health inequalities BAME patients may face by providing teaching and online lectures on various topics.”


Yuki Zhou headshot

Name: Yuki Zhou

Programme: MB-PhD in Cancer Sciences

Lead Supervisors: Dr Andrew Gilmore, Dr Joe Swift, and Dr Sacha Howell


“I’m a second-year MB-PhD student co-supervised by Dr Andrew Gilmore, Dr Joe Swift, and Dr Sacha Howell. My project investigates resistance to preventative Tamoxifen in women at high risk of breast cancer, with a secondary focus on understanding ethnic disparities in breast cancer, from biological to social factors.

Beyond my academic interest, I am committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment within our workplace and promoting access to higher education and research opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. To maintain a good work-life balance during my PhD I go skiing regularly. I’m also a practical Buddhist and volunteer at temples and help organise events within the local community.”



Seminars and Events

Discover the range of events taking place at the CRUK Manchester Centre.

CRUK Open Lab Initiative

The Cancer Research UK Open Lab Initiative is a digital tool to help you find your ideal research match – and now it’s available to researchers across the CRUK Centres network.


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