Acrobats create 'Human DNA Helix' to launch charity campaign

Cancer Research UK
Acrobats forming a breath-taking ‘human DNA helix’ at King’s Cross station

A team of acrobats formed a breathtaking ‘human DNA helix’ today to launch Cancer Research UK’s final year of fundraising to raise £100 million pounds for the Francis Crick Institute, a world-leading biomedical research centre that will open in London in 2016.

The ten acrobats, including members of the ‘mens 4’ British and world champion sports acrobatics team, performed an awe-inspiring routine at King’s Cross station, next to where the Crick is being built.  The display, produced by Acrobat Productions, amazed commuters and passers-by and culminated in them flexing and moulding their bodies to replicate the DNA double helix.

"One in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives, and we rely solely on our supporters to fund our life-saving work; that’s why we’re asking people to get involved in this campaign now and help us build the future cures for cancer.” - Andrew Pisker, Cancer Research UK

The stunt was inspired by Francis Crick’s discovery of the double helix – the structure that holds our DNA - in 1953.  Working alongside James Watson and Maurice Wilkins, and based on the work of Rosalind Franklin, it is thought to be one of the most significant discoveries in modern science and has transformed our understanding of the human body and disease.

Cancer Research UK has pledged to raise £100 million to help complete the Crick, which will be a visionary collaboration between six world-leading medical research organisations, including Cancer Research UK.  It will see more than 1,200 scientists coming together under one roof to tackle the major diseases, such as cancer, that pose the greatest threat to humanity.

Jon Snow, presenter and supporter of Cancer Research UK’s campaign, said: “Anybody of my age knows someone with cancer or has been touched by cancer themselves, and like many other people I have seen the devastation it can bring.  Enormous strides have been made in research, but there is still a long way to go. That’s why I give my full support to Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise money for the Francis Crick Institute.”

Andrew Pisker, chairman of Cancer Research UK’s public campaign for the Francis Crick Institute, said: “Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise money for the Crick has been a huge challenge, but with the support of people across the country we’re confident we’ll raise the £100 million we have committed as part of the project.  One in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives, and we rely solely on our supporters to fund our life-saving work; that’s why we’re asking people to get involved in this campaign now and help us build the future cures for cancer.”

Jim Smith, director of research at the Francis Crick Institute, said: “By bringing so many scientists together under one roof, the Crick will create a unique, multidisciplinary environment that will encourage collaboration and interaction.  We believe it has the potential to change the face of medical research forever.”

The charity is now calling on people across the country to support the campaign and be part of the Crick’s DNA.  Find out how to get involved by visiting www.cruk.org/crick.

 

ENDS

For further information, please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 0203 469 8315 or at press.office@cancer.org.uk. For out of hours, please call the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.

Notes to Editor

About The Francis Crick Institute*

The Francis Crick Institute is a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation. It will house more than 1,200 leading scientists from a variety of disciplines working together under one roof to tackle the biggest health challenges faced by humankind. Dedicated to research excellence, the institute will have the scale, vision and expertise to tackle challenging scientific questions underpinning health and disease.

Due for completion in late 2015, The Francis Crick Institute is a visionary collaboration between six of the world’s leading medical research organisations: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London),  King’s College London and Imperial College London. It will be world-class with a strong national role – training scientists and developing ideas for public good. www.crick.ac.uk

*Please refer to the institute as the Francis Crick Institute initially in all copy. It can be referred to as the Crick after the first mention.

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.

·       Today, 2 in 4 people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people will survive cancer within the next 20 years.

·       Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.

  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

About Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise £100m for the Francis Crick Institute

·       Cancer Research UK is the only one of the six founding partners raising funds philanthropically to complete its contribution to the overall £650m cost to build the Crick

·       In 2012, Cancer Research UK launched the ‘Create The Change’ campaign which aims to raise £100m towards they charity’s contribution.  It is our boldest campaign yet, aiming to engage with philanthropists both in the UK and internationally to make transformational donations towards establishing the new institute

·       Cancer Research UK has received some extremely generous gifts to date and hopes to inspire even more people to get involved by investing in this building and changing the future of medical research

·       In June 2015 Cancer Research UK is launching the public phase of the campaign, encouraging people across the country to support the campaign

·       Visit www.cruk.org/crick to find out how to get involved                                                      

About Acrobat Productions Ltd

Founded by Roger Robinson, Acrobat Productions Ltd is regarded as one of the UK’s leading creative and technical consultants for acrobatic and aerial performance.  Visit www.acrobatproductions.com