Research update- June 2022

With the start of a new financial year and upcoming launch of our new five-year strategy, there has been a lot of exciting things developing in the research team. 

June has begun with a new addition to the team, our brand-new Research Officer, Leah Ambler! Leah is joining to take on our growing portfolio of research projects, and will be involved in managing the grants, progress and impact of our active projects as well as being a part of the development of our future endeavours. She comes from a research background herself, having recently completed her PhD in Cancer Biology, and is now eager move into the world of research funding where her expertise will help to sustain and accelerate progress. We are thrilled to welcome Leah to Team SKC! 

This month we have also welcomed two new members to our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Joining the panel are Dr Meredith Irwin, Paediatric-in-Chief at Sick Kids in Toronto, and Dr Julia Glade Bender, Vice Chair for Clinical Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Expanding the reach and knowledge of our SAB with the addition of these highly reputable individuals is helping us to strengthen and grow our research portfolio. Dr Irwin has extensive experience in neuroblastoma-specific research, working on a combination of preclinical studies and clinical trials throughout her career. Her position in Toronto will also give a window into the neuroblastoma landscape in Canada and how we can fit in. Dr Glade Bender works across a range of childhood cancers, specialising in solid tumours and rarer diseases. Her research focuses on first-in-human trials of new drugs that are specifically targeted to a child’s tumour, in cases where standard therapies are not the best option for them. We are approaching a new age of precision medicine in diseases such as neuroblastoma that are incredibly heterogeneous, and Dr Glade Bender will be a great asset to our SAB in this area. 

June has also seen the kick-off of the brand-new pioneering ALADDIN project - a new multi-stakeholder educational programme for current and future clinical experts on drug discovery for childhood cancers. We were approached by its founder, ACCELERATE, to partner as experts in research advocacy. We will be collaborating with CCI-Europe to develop resources that teach the importance of parent and patient perspectives in research - harbouring a culture where this is truly integrated into clinical practise and not just included as a token or afterthought. We are incredibly excited to be involved in this international project and will continue to provide updates on its progress.