Coaching the rising stars of cancer research

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Join Meyler Campbell and Cancer Research UK for a panel discussion about the future leaders of cancer research

About this Event

Cultivating the next generation of scientific leaders is a major priority for Cancer Research UK. Through the CRUK Future Leaders programme, the charity offers a broad range of funding schemes to cater to all stages of a researcher’s career, from PhD programmes for recent graduates to fellowships for established scientists looking to develop their own research groups.

Led by faculty member Ann Orton, the panel will feature: Brinda Lakshmi Varahan, a second year PhD student at the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation at the Barts Cancer Institute; Dr Amit Roshan, a Cancer Research UK-funded clinician scientist based at the charity’s Cambridge Centre, who was part of Meyler Campbell’s first cohort of practice participants; and Dr Marjolein Schaap, who leads CRUK’s Future Leaders programme.

You will have the unique opportunity to engage with the panel by asking questions, and to hear about how you could become involved with CRUK – through lending your coaching expertise, making a gift or by introducing your network to the charity’s vital work. If you would like to submit a question to the panel in advance, please email:

Meet the Panel:

Dr Amit Roshan

Amit works with melanoma patients and is developing methods to detect the disease at the earliest stages – when surgery can be curative and the positive health impact for patients is the largest – along with the Rosenfeld Group at the CRUK Cambridge Institute. As part of this initiative, he is building teams at the hospital and the university in collaboration with international and commercial partners, to develop a simple blood test to detect early-stage melanomas that are currently undetectable by any other means. Excitingly, the Rosenfeld Group has recently published findings that show the blood test can be 10 times more effective than current methods. The test is now being validated in hospital patients.

Brinda Lakshmi Varahan

Brinda is in her second year of a CRUK-funded PhD studentship at the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation at the Barts Cancer Institute in London. As part of Professor Fran Balkwill’s research group, she is investigating the role the common painkiller aspirin could play in preventing ovarian cancer – a disease that around 7,400 people are diagnosed with in the UK each year. Some previous research studies have looked at how taking aspirin could help prevent bowel cancer in people at high risk of the disease, so Brinda is hoping the same may be true for ovarian cancer. However, aspirin can also put some people at higher risk of internal bleeding and ulcers. Brinda’s research aims to determine who is likely to benefit most from taking aspirin to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and who is at greater risk of the side effects. Her project also specifically focuses on how our body’s natural inflammatory response could play a role in aspirin’s ability to prevent cancer. In the future, Brinda’s research could help reduce the number of people who develop ovarian cancer, but also help transform the way we approach cancer prevention in general.

Dr Marjolein Schaap

Marjolein is a Research Programme Manager in the CRUK Research Careers team, in which she supports a portfolio of early to mid-career cancer researchers, including students, postdoctoral and independent researchers. As well as providing funding through, for example, personal fellowships, her team also delivers events and provides networking opportunities to support researchers at every stage of their career. Before joining CRUK, Marjolein worked as a scientist in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

About Cancer Research UK

In the 1970s, just 1 in 4 people in the UK survived cancer for 10 years or more. Today, thanks to research, that figure has doubled. CRUK’s ambition is to continue to accelerate this progress so that 3 in 4 people survive cancer by 2034. Today, they support more than 4,000 researchers, doctors and nurses across a network of exceptional cancer research centres and partner with more than 80 organisations all over the world. CRUK covers every aspect of cancer research and every step of the cancer journey, from bench to bedside, and from prevention to diagnosis and treatment. The charity’s work has helped uncover the causes of cancer, leading to some of the earliest studies into risk factors, including the link between smoking and cancer. They also laid the foundations for the UK’s national cancer screening programmes and today’s radiotherapy and surgery techniques. And CRUK scientists have contributed to developing eight of the world’s top 10 cancer drugs.

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