Students, public figures and academics were honoured during the annual awards ceremony for graduates of The Institute of Cancer Research, London.
More than 80 PhD, MD(res) and MSc students were presented with degrees during the glittering ceremony at the University of London’s Senate House.
The annual ICR Awards Ceremony provides an opportunity for the organisation to celebrate the achievement of its new graduates, former employees and other individuals who have played a key role in supporting its mission, to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.
Three students were awarded prizes in recognition of their achievements during their studies and two leading names in government and cancer biology were awarded honorary degrees for their contributions to the ICR.
PhD students Deborah Hill and Lewis Vidler were honoured for their outstanding work and were presented with their awards by the ICR’s Chairman Luke Johnson.
Professor Nandita de Souza, Professor of Translational Imaging at the ICR and an honorary consultant at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, presented the award for outstanding MD(Res) student to Dr Fiona McDonald.
The ceremony also recognised outstanding contributions to the ICR by awarding honorary degrees to cell biologist and cancer researcher Professor Ron Laskey, Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge, and Clare Pillman, a former ICR Trustee and a Director at the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Professor Paul Workman, in his first official duty as ICR Interim Chief Executive, rounded off the evening by emphasising that the ceremony was a celebration of excellence.
He highlighted some of the ICR’s recent achievements, including the opening of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer and the Centre for Cancer Imaging, and stressed that a fundamental part of the ICR’s mission was building for the future through the education and training of the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians.
Professor Workman praised the students’ world class work to date, and urged these up-and-coming researchers to work hard to become the leaders of the future.
Professor Workman said: “There are many different ways you can build on the foundations you have built in cancer research but make sure that you do. I’m sure you will if you use your training and talent and work hard to become future leaders. As Ralph Nader said: ‘The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.’”