Earlier this week I was delighted to be hosting a visit of Ogmore MP, Huw Irranca-Davies, who is also standing in the Assembly elections in May. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute in the Hadyn Ellis Building.
The work the institute is conducting is truly ground-breaking and absolutely fascinating. In the three years that they have been up and running they have been working to isolate the cells in certain cancerous tumours that are responsible for seeding new tumours. It is now known that only a fraction of the tumour cells can seed (make new tumours). Working with colleagues in our School of Pharmacy researchers in the institute set out to see if together they could establish ways to stop these cells from seeding. Dr Richard Clarkson, who showed us around and explained the institute’s work, likened this to picking all the seeds from a sycamore tree, the tree will continue to be there but no further trees can be planted. So far the team have worked out, through computer modelling, one way to potentially block these cells and now the institute is less than a year away from its first clinical trials.
The research of the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute together with Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute and the very soon to be opened new Cardiff University Brain Imaging Centre (or CUBRIC) building on our new Innovation Campus are sitting on the crest of a very impressive wave. I am really excited about what’s next.