ICR researchers are returning to their labs this week as we ramp up our pioneering cancer research following the disruption caused by the pandemic.
We’re excited to start to get our research fully up and running again, and have been working hard to ensure a safe return to our labs for our staff and students, through strict safety regulations and physical distancing rules.
Some ICR labs have remained open during the lockdown – those analysing critical clinical trial samples, or carrying out research related to coronavirus, for example – but most have been closed since late March.
We are now beginning a phased ramp up of staff and students this week, as we build up to a maximum safe capacity in our buildings. We have worked in consultation with our researchers to develop a set of safety instructions covering all our sites, along with local rules for individual workspaces.
Staff and students will be coming onto site using staggered working patterns, to accommodate as many researchers as possible safely.
We are using signage and one-way routes to manage the passage of people through our buildings. The ICR is providing mandatory training for everyone coming back onto site, setting out the different safety measures in place.
We have a proven track-record of awe-inspiring research, which is transforming the lives of cancer patients around the world. This work is made possible by an extraordinary community of generous donors, which includes individuals, trusts and foundations and charity partners.
Pushing forward to make the discoveries that defeat cancer
Beginning to get our research fully up and running again is an important moment for us and the communities we serve. The research we do at the ICR is so important to help improve the lives of patients with cancer and their families.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has been enormously disruptive to our work, we have still managed to continue our research in many areas, including our world-leading computational research in cancer genetics, evolution, drug discovery and clinical trials data.
We are now looking forward to ramping up the numbers of researchers working at the bench, and restarting the many experiments that we have had to pause.
Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of the ICR, said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our research just as it has in some many areas of life, but cancer doesn’t stop and neither can we. We have been working hard to ramp up the numbers of researchers working in our labs in a safe and controlled way, and are delighted to see studies restarting across the organisation.
“The way we work for the time being will be a little different from what we have been used to, with shift patterns, one-way systems and physical distancing rules in place. But the dedication of everyone at the ICR and our supporters remains the same, as we continue to push forward to make the discoveries that defeat cancer. I’m enormously proud of how our staff and students have pulled together and risen to the occasion throughout these challenging times.”