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12th June 2024

New funding to help pioneering brain tumour research in Wales

A new brain tumour research fund has been set up to bring together academic and clinical leaders to foster a thriving brain tumour research community in Wales.

Dr James Powell, a Clinical Academic at the Wales Cancer Research Centre (WCRC) funded by Health and Care Research Wales, has been appointed Clinical Lead for the Brain Tumour Research Initiative (BATRI).

The BATRI is a new brain tumour research fund, established by Cancer Research Wales, to provide £1 million annually to support research into brain and other central nervous system tumours in Wales for the next three years.

Dr Powell said: “I am proud to be leading on this fantastic national initiative which will enable us to develop new and innovative brain tumour research in Wales. We hope our efforts will support better outcomes for patients with brain tumours.

“Every year in Wales, more than 400 people develop a brain tumour but unfortunately, very few new treatments have been developed in the last 40 years.

“With this significant support from Cancer Research Wales we now have critical, sustainable funding to elevate brain tumour research to a national level and make real progress.”

Brain tumour research has been historically underfunded, receiving less than two percent of annual cancer research funding in the UK.

Dr Powell currently co-leads WCRC’s Multi-Disciplinary Research Group (MDRG) for brain cancer with Dr Florian Siebzehnrubl, Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University and Deputy Director of the European Stem Cell Institute. Together, they bring specialists to discuss and collaborate on research ideas that align with the Cancer Research Strategy for Wales (CReSt).

Dr Powell added: “The Brain Tumour Research Initiative builds on the success of the Multi-Disciplinary Research Group by adopting a national, strategic and coordinated approach to prioritising brain tumour research. We will then provide funding for projects that tackle these priorities.

“We are very excited by this initiative and hope this new funding will offer real opportunities and support for researchers in Wales to develop their research programmes and become world leaders in the field of brain tumour research.”

The BATRI will fund brain tumour research across five broad themes which aim to capture the breadth of research opportunities in this field. Funding calls will open twice a year, inviting researchers to submit new and innovative proposals for brain tumour research.

Find out more details on the website.