Round up of the latest volunteer stories

15th June 2020

The Beatson is extremely proud of all of our scientists who are volunteering in the Lighthouse Lab testing centre in Glasgow and supporting efforts to tackle COVID-19. Here is a round up of some of their stories, which you can currently find in the Scottish press:

Grant McGregor's story ran in The Courier on 12th June: and the Central Fife Times: 

Jo Birch featured in the Stirling Observer, and also on the Daily Record website:

Lynn McGarry was on the front page of that Paisley Daily Express, and also on the Daily Record website:

Grant, Lynn and Natasha Malik also featured on the Glasgow Times website:

Dave Bryant inspiring people to Race for Life at Home

14th May 2020

Dr Dave Bryant, one of our scientists here at the Beatson, is doing all he can to support Cancer Research UK's Race For Life At Home. He is encouraging everyone to take part in a challenge at home to raise vital funds for life-saving cancer research. But he and his husband, Zachary Claudino have also set themselves a Race For Life At Home challenge of their own, to run for 30 minutes every day together during their daily exercise with their pet dog, Lucy.

Dave Zach Lucy

Dave, Zach and Lucy the dog

As part of his research at the Institiute, Dave and his team of scientists are building prostate, ovarian and bowel cancer 'avatars': 3D models of cancer cells that they can study using time-lapse microscopy to find out how they move and spread. Dave explains: "We use AI techniques to analyse the patterns of cancer cell spread. Then we can genetically alter the cancer cells to identify which genes cause them to spread. Our hope is that this information could help us find and test drugs that could stop cancer from spreading."

More details of how to take part in Race For Life At Home can be found here.

Dave's story also appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times:

See inside Scotland's COVID-19 testing lab

23rd April 2020

BBC News has been inside the new Glasgow Lighthouse Lab, a collaboration between the University of Glasgow, the private sector, the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and the NHS. Several researchers from the Beatson as well as colleagues from the Institute of Cancer Sciences are volunteering in lab, including Jo Birch, Jodie Hay, Nati Gomez-Roman, Grant McGregor, Lynn McGarry and Natasha Malik.

Grant, Lynn and Natasha are pictured here in the lab in their protective gear:

Grant Lynn  Natasha

Glasgow Lighthouse Lab begins COVID-19 testing

22nd April 2020

It was announced today (22 April 2020) that a major new COVID-19 testing facility, the Lighthouse Laboratory in Glasgow, has opened in collaboration with the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute.

The Lighthouse Laboratory is funded by the UK Government and hosted by the University of Glasgow at its campus at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Around a quarter of the scientist volunteers who will carry out COVID-19 tests are from the CRUK Beatson Institute. As well as the volunteers, the Institute has donated kit to set up the Glasgow testing facility, including four PCR machines and vital reagents.

In response to today's announcement, Professor Owen Sansom, Director of the CRUK Beatson Institute, said:

"I am incredibly proud of all our staff and scientists from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute who have volunteered to put their expert skills and talent to use at the Glasgow Lighthouse Laboratory to help our NHS colleagues and the COVID-19 response. Just like cancer research, this fight is about everyone working together to make a difference. Cancer won't be going away during or after COVID-19 but, by helping the global effort to tackle the virus, we hope we can get back to beating cancer as soon as possible."

Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute helping in the fight against COVID-19

03rd April 2020

The University of Glasgow has announced it will host a major COVID-19 testing centre at its Clinical Innovation Zone at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus in Glasgow as part of efforts to combat the pandemic [see BBC News 2 April 2020]. The Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute has been playing its part, in partnership with the University, to get the laboratory up and running by donating PCR machines and vital reagents, and several Institute staff members will be volunteering their time and expertise once testing begins in mid-April.

Institute Director, Owen Sansom said: "I couldn't be more pleased for the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute to be helping NHS colleagues in this way, as well as the local community which has been so supportive of the Institute's work over many years. Just as with cancer research, this fight is about everyone working together to make a difference."

Integrating Cancer Imaging Biomarker Clinical Research Across the UK

26th March 2020

UK National Cancer Imaging Translational Accelerator (NCITA) establishes infrastructure for validation and adoption of cancer imaging biomarkers as decision-making tools in clinical trials and NHS practice.  


Researchers and medical experts from nine world-leading medical imaging centres across the UK come together to form an integrated infrastructure for standardising and validating cancer imaging biomarkers for clinical use.

The centres include University of Glasgow, University College London, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, King's College London, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College London, Cambridge University and Newcastle University. This unique UK infrastructure provides clinical researchers across the UK with open access to world-class clinical imaging facilities and expertise, as well a repository data management service, artificial intelligence (AI) tools and ongoing training opportunities.

The NCITA consortium, through engagement with NHS Trusts, pharmaceutical companies, medical imaging and nuclear medicine companies as well as funding bodies and patient groups, aims to develop a robust and sustainable imaging biomarker certification process, to revolutionise the speed and accuracy of cancer diagnosis, tumour classification and patient response to treatment.

Professor Hing Leung, Professor of Urology and Surgical Oncology at the University of Glasgow and CRUK Beatson Institute said "NCITA is a great platform to fast track the application of novel imaging tests in patients. We are delighted to be part of NCITA and are coordinating a prostate cancer imaging study for the network."

The NCITA initiative is funded by Cancer Research UK and will receive up to £10 million over 5 years.

The NCITA network is led by Prof Shonit Punwani, Prof James O'Connor, Prof Eric Aboagye, Prof Geoff Higgins, Prof Evis Sala, Prof Dow Mu Koh, Prof Tony Ng, Prof Hing Leung and Prof Ruth Plummer with up to 49 co-investigators supporting the NCITA initiative. NCITA is keen to expand and bring in new academic and industrial partnerships as it develops.

To stay up-to-date with NCITA news, follow NCITA on Twitter and see their website.



To study treatment resistance, we carried out serial 18F-FACBC PET/MRI scans before (left panel) and after (right panel) androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) on a preclinical orthograft model with human CWR22 prostate cancer cells. Image by Drs Rachana Patel and Gaurav Malviya, CRUK Beatson Institute.


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