MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine
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Dr Evropi Theodoratou awarded a prestigious £1.58 million Career Development Fellowship by CRUK

Cancer Research UK has awarded Dr Evropi Theodoratou £1.58 million to support her research on improving bowel cancer diagnosis in Scotland: June 2017

Dr Evropi Theodoratou
Dr Evropi Theodoratou

Cancer Research UK has awarded Dr Evropi Theodoratou £1.58 million to support her research on improving bowel cancer diagnosis in Scotland. This prestigious Career Development Fellowship will allow Dr Theodoratou to set up her own Research Group at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, a world-class centre for bowel cancer research based within the University of Edinburgh’s MRC IGMM. Around 3,800 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 1,600 people die from this disease annually in Scotland,

Dr Theodoratou and her team are looking for genetic and environmental markers of the disease. Finding these markers will help them identify groups of people who are at a higher risk of developing bowel cancer at a younger age (under 50), so that early screening and other more frequent monitoring options can be explored. They also hope to find ways to help doctors identify which patients need to be urgently referred for tests after going to see their GP with potential bowel cancer symptoms, and which patients don’t.

Dr Theodoratou said: “Patients with symptoms such as changed bowel habits or bleeding are currently referred for a colonoscopy, which is a serious investigation. Symptoms like these are common, and in most cases are caused by something much less serious than cancer. Less than 5% of patients with bowel symptoms may have a serious bowel illness. However, currently we cannot predict very accurately which patients have a non-serious illness and which might have more serious bowel disease. This causes stress for patients, as well as putting pressure on the health service. Using what we learn from our research, I hope we can work with policymakers to help improve bowel cancer diagnosis in Scotland.”

World leaders in cancer research have been discovered through the CRUK’s Fellowship Awards, which support them establishing their own cancer research group and the work these CRUK Fellows produce is of the highest international quality. Karen Noble, the charity’s Head of Training and Fellowships, said: “To ensure we make a real difference in our fight against cancer, we need to recruit the best people and help them develop at every stage of their career. CRUK Fellows make crucial discoveries that increase our fundamental understanding of cancer and help develop innovative new cancer medicines, tests and treatments.”

This funding award would not have been possible without the support of everyone who fundraises for Cancer Research UK in Scotland. Dr Theodoratou is supporting the CRUK’s Race for Life in Holyrood Park on Sunday 25 June. Evropi be there on Sunday morning to sound the starting klaxon for around 2,000 runners. CRUK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 5k, 10k, and Pretty Muddy women-only events and this year the new ‘Race for Life Family 5k’ is being piloted in Scotland. During 2016, more than 37,600 people took part in Race for Life across Scotland and raised almost £2.5 million.

Relevant Links

Dr  Evropi Theodoratou Research Group: http://www.ed.ac.uk/cancer-centre/research/evropi-theodoratou

Edinburgh Evening News Article (20.06.17): http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/city-scientist-awarded-1-5m-to-aid-cancer-research-1-4482989

Cancer Research UK Career Development Fellowship: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/funding-for-researchers/our-funding-schemes/career-development-fellowship