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ICR announces Fellowships for 2006


Thursday 11 May 2006


At its annual Award Ceremony on Thursday 11 May 2006 The Institute of Cancer Research conferred its first honorary degree of the University of London since becoming a member of the University federation in 2003 when the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Medicine) was conferred upon Professor Karen Vousden FRS, FRSE, FMedSci.

Professor Vousden is Director of Cancer Research UK’s Beatson Institute for Cancer Research at Glasgow University and today’s award is in recognition of her pioneering and continuing contributions to cancer research and for her leadership role in strengthening the collaborative impact of cancer research in Scotland for patient benefit. Among many other things, Professor Vousden’s distinguished research career included a period of postdoctoral training at The Institute and work to untangle the molecular mechanisms that underlie cancer focused, in particular, on the p53 tumour suppressor protein which is dubbed “the guardian of the genome”. Disruption of this guardianship role is a feature of most cancers and her work has led to the recognition of some key features of p53 that highlight the importance of cell death in its tumour suppressor function.

Fellowships of The Institute of Cancer Research were also conferred on Professor Kenneth Harrap CBE, DSc, CChem, FRSC and on Baroness Morgan of Drefelin.


These Fellowships are awarded to distinguished individuals who have made outstanding contributions to cancer research, treatment or education and have made a major contribution to the advancement of The Institute’s objectives.


Professor Harrap gave more than forty years’ continuous service to The Institute in a distinguished career. He was made Head of the (then) newly established Department of Applied Biochemistry in 1970 which was broadened to form the Department of Biochemical Pharmacology in 1977 and then appointed Chairman of the newly formed Drug Development Section in 1982 and made Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology in 1983. His research work resulted in the discovery of Carboplatin and two other platinum drugs still in clinical development in the USA and by the time of his retirement as Director of the CRC (now Cancer Research UK) Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at The Institute in 1997 seven other drugs were in full clinical development. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to cancer research in 1998.


Baroness Morgan of Drefelin was Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer from 1995 until 2005 during which time she took Breakthrough from a relatively small organisation to the pre-eminent position it has today. When The Institute first went into partnership with Breakthrough in the early 1990s it was simply to provide capital costs for building the Breakthrough Tony Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre but under her leadership the fundraising became sufficiently robust for them to fund much of the Centre’s direct research costs and more recently the Generations Study – funding of some £6m - £7m per annum. Baroness Morgan raised the profile of Breakthrough such that it was in a position not just to raise money but also better represent breast cancer sufferers and lobby for better treatment and more resources within the NHS.

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