The future of vital research funding is unclear in the wake of Brexit
If not the most terrifying, it’s certainly one of the most poignant moments for most, to hear the word cancer iterated by a health professional, often in an unfamiliar seat, surrounded by an unfamiliar vinyl floor with bare, cold walls. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can feel as if you have been plunged into a ‘war’, that you are now a fighter, a soldier, the most courageous person ‘we’ve ever met’. You’re hopefully a survivor too – but this terminology can become tiresome, especially to those sufferers who feel they are striving to live, and doing exactly what anyone else would in their position – taking advantage of the astounding treatments now available. It’s a completely understandable phenomenon, the ‘battle’ against cancer. It is a battle. It takes everything out of you and those closest to you. Yet cancer can also feel like a success story – especially due to researchers in the UK who have developed so many new treatments, combating various elements of this ever-changing disease. Cancer Research UK currently have over 250 clinical trials being carried out across the UK and have taken over 100 new drugs into trials since the 80’s. It is exactly this reason that the implications of cuts to funding for such vital research organisations are acutely distressing to the scientific community. It’s not just clinical trials that are at risk from cuts to EU science funding, it’s the broader implications for long-term trials currently in progress and the potential impact on future generations of scientists who feel they won’t be able to sustain their work – or perhaps even get started. What are the government and scientific community going to do to help maintain our growing strength in the ‘war’ and how can pharmaceutical partnerships help? Until we have more clarity on that, I’ll keep running 5ks, baking cakes and participating in silly challenges whilst hoping that Brexit allows the UK research community to survive and thrive.
This article was written by Tazie Taysom, former consultant at Hanson Search.