Beatson Institute for Cancer Research

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Beatson Institute for Cancer Research

Beatson Institute is one of Cancer Research UK’s core-funded institutes they carry out a programme of world-class science directed at understanding key aspects of cancer cell behaviour, and try to translate these discoveries into new therapies and diagnostic/prognostic tools to help cancer patients. The Institute benefits from close interactions with the University of Glasgow, including strong links with the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences. They occupy a magnificent research building that has allowed us to develop some state-of-the-art technologies in focused areas to underpin our key research themes. They also provide outstanding training opportunities for young scientists and host many seminars and meetings to bring all the news from the international cancer research community to Glasgow. The foundations for the Beatson Institute were laid at the end of the 19th century when, in 1890, a new cancer hospital was opened in Glasgow. Sir George Thomas Beatson – a surgeon of considerable talent - soon became head of the institution and in 1912 established a research department. In 1967 – under the directorship of Dr John Paul – the department became the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research and moved to its present location at the Garscube Estate in 1976. Prof John Wyke became Director in 1987 and worked to develop links between the Beatson Institute and the University of Glasgow – in particular with the departments of Medical and Radiation Oncology. Prof Karen Vousden was appointed as Director at the end of 2002. The aim of their research is to understand the mechanisms that regulate cancer cell proliferation, survival and dissemination; to identify critical components of these pathways as targets for novel cancer therapies; and to help translate this knowledge to patient benefit. Their scientists are supported in this by having access to outstanding facilities and state-of-the-art services. In addition, the Institute has close ties to the University of Glasgow’s basic and clinical cancer research groups. Beatson publications are available as open access articles at Europe PubMed Central. One of the key aims of the Beatson Institute is to translate our basic research for patient benefit and we are working towards this goal in two main areas; drug discovery based on biological pathways under investigation in the basic science programmes and links with clinical trials through our clinical colleagues. Funded by Cancer Research UK and headed by Martin Drysdale, our goal is to establish an integrated, industry-standard drug discovery programme to translate basic biology research from the Beatson and other CRUK centres into medicines for the treatment of cancer. The Drug Discovery Programme (DDP) at the Beatson has established expertise in Fragment-Based Drug Discovery (FBDD) within the Structural Biology group, integrated alongside Chemistry and Biology. State-of-the-art 600MHz NMR with cryo-cooling is used in conjunction with Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) as our primary fragment screening technologies, backed up by X-ray crystallography.