Professor Andrew Pettitt
The University of Liverpool, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and North West Cancer Research have appointed Professor Andrew Pettitt as the inaugural Director of a new initiative to ‘transform biomedical cancer research’ in the region, The Liverpool Cancer Research Institute (LCRI).
The Liverpool City Region (LCR) has had many successes in the field of cancer biomedical research over the most part of the last two decades. Building on strong foundations and moving towards an altogether more integrated approach to fulfil the LCR’s true potential for biomedical and clinical cancer research, the new Liverpool Cancer Research Institute will provide a single organisational framework through which this change can happen.
At the heart of the endeavour is a partnership between the region’s three biggest stakeholders in cancer research, the University of Liverpool, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and North West Cancer Research.
The vision for this initiative is to transform biomedical cancer research in the region by creating a nationally leading, cancer institute, underpinned by multi-stakeholder collaboration, that will enable the latest cancer research discoveries to be developed into innovative new effective treatments for cancer patients as quickly as possible.
Professor Pettitt is the Ronald Finn Professor of Experimental Medicine at the University of Liverpool and until recently Head of Department for Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine. He is also an Associate Medical Director and Honorary Consultant Haemato-oncologist at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Director of the Liverpool Health Partners Cancer Programme and Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute Lymphoma Research Group.
Professor Pettitt, said: “It is a great privilege to head up this exciting new initiative which forms an important part of the Liverpool Health Partners Cancer Programme. Liverpool is home to many world-class cancer scientists and doctors. The region also has more than its fair share of cancer, and it is therefore crucial that we do everything we can to make the biggest possible impact on the disease. The disproportionate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with cancer makes this all the more important and pressing.
“By bringing the University of Liverpool, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and North West Cancer Research together in strategic alignment, the Liverpool Cancer Research Institute will help clinicians and scientists work in a more joined up way and take cancer research in Liverpool to the next level.
“I look forward to working with colleagues across all three organisations and more widely across Liverpool Health Partners to ensure that the LCRI is a success.”
Professor Louise Kenny, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool, said: “Andrew is world leading expert on cancer and we are delighted at his appointment as part of this important initiative. His wealth of experience and expertise will provide important focus and leadership for collaborative cancer research in the Liverpool City Region.“
Alastair Richards, CEO of North West Cancer Research, said: “We are delighted to be a partner in this important new initiative that will transform cancer research in our region. North West Cancer Research have worked closely with the University of Liverpool for many years and since 2000, have funded almost £40 million of work in the city. We recognise that working together in partnership will align the work of researchers with the needs of the local community – helping to improve health in the City of Liverpool and beyond.”
Dr Liz Bishop, Chief Executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “People in our region are more likely to develop cancer than almost anywhere else in England which gives us even more incentive to prioritise research into new treatments; it is one of the reasons we are opening our new hospital with dedicated research facilities in June in the Knowledge Quarter.
“Liverpool Cancer Research Institute will enable greater collaboration between academic and clinical researchers so that patients benefit from new treatments as quickly as possible and I very much welcome Andy’s appointment as its inaugural director.”
The Liverpool Cancer Research Institute is part of the Liverpool Health Partners Cancer Programme which is structured drive the consolidation, focus and alignment of Liverpool’s large portfolio of cancer-related biomedical research in order to maximise research power and harness it for patient benefit.
Liverpool Cancer Research Institute is the latest of two large centres approved by the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences as part of Project SHAPE, the other one being the established Centre of Excellence in Infectious Disease Research (CEIDR), a partnership between the University and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.