The University of Manchester and the city’s specialist cancer centre, the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, are putting £30 million into a recruitment drive for academic researchers and their teams to support the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC).

The partners hope to begin advertising for the posts, which will includefour group leaders funded by Cancer Research UK (CR-UK), this coming autumn.

The aim is to bring 20 top-flight academics and their teams Manchester, amounting to 100 new staff in total with clinical, research and teaching expertise in screening and prevention; lung cancer; radiotherapy; haematological oncology; women’s cancer; melanoma; and personalised cancer therapy.

Around 13 of the academic posts and their associated teams will have a clinical base within The Christie as well as a role at Manchester University.

New facility

The remaining science roles will be based within the MCRC, the majority of them in a new custom-built facility due to open in 2014 opposite The Christie in south Manchester.

Some of the posts will be based in the neighbouring CR-UK Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, which is also part of The University of Manchester.

Originally set up in 2006, the MCRC is a partnership between the University of Manchester, Cancer Research UK and The Christie.

Last November the university was awarded £12.8 million from the government’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund towards the construction of the new MCRC research facility on The Christie site in Withington, which will provide space for around 250 staff overall.

MAHSC initiatives

The £30 million recruitment bid for cancer research in Manchester is part of a series of large-scale initiatives in healthcare and health science driven by the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), a partnership between six of Greater Manchester’s NHS Trusts, including The Christie and the University of Manchester. 

The MAHSC prioritises key health issues within Greater Manchester, one of which is cancer. The package of support will fund cancer leaders and their teams for five years as well as covering some laboratory set-up costs and materials.

Caroline Shaw, chief executive of The Christie, said the recruitment programme was “a major coup for Manchester. It means that our patients will have the chance to be the very first people to participate in global trials and have access to the very latest cancer treatments”.