Involving people affected by cancer in JING

Patrick and Alison

Patrick McGuire and Alison Reeve

Junior Investigator Network Group (JING) 2024 - Training the next generation event

At the end of January, the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) held their annual Junior Investigator Network Group (JING) training event in Manchester.

The network supports Junior Investigators from early career stages through to becoming independent researchers. The annual two-day event provides networking and learning opportunities for both clinical and non-clinical trainees.

This year the event welcomed 55 Junior Investigators who were joined by many of the ECMC leads and faculty, alongside CRUK staff, and 9 brilliant patient representatives, who shared their extensive knowledge and experience of patient involvement in research.

The second day had a specific focus on patient involvement, with the morning session being led by Alison Reeve (CRUK Senior Patient Involvement Officer, Research), Patrick McGuire (Patient Representative and CRUK Involvement Network member), and Professor Ruth Plummer (Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine, Newcastle University). The session was a mix of presentations giving an overview of patient involvement in research, its importance and impact, and discussion groups facilitated by the patient representatives. It was an excellent opportunity for the trainees to increase their knowledge and understanding of patient involvement, and how it can improve the quality and relevance of their research.

table discussion at JING

Patrick McGuire co-delivered the opening presentation with Alison Reeve and shared his personal story, motivation, and passion for being involved in research.

 “It was a great privilege and pleasure to speak to an audience of such enthusiastic and supportive researchers. I left feeling further inspired and motivated to keep volunteering and fundraising after listening to the passion and commitment of the Junior Investigators. The future of cancer research is in great hands.” 

Junior Investigators shared their thoughts on the patient involvement session:

“PPI session was excellent. I valued the time spent exploring the best way to utilize and involve patients and the public in research. Good signposts to CRUK involvement network.”

“The patient representative was extremely insightful and knowledgeable with real-life experience of working in clinical trials and could give relevant advice on PPI involvement.”

For the first time, ECMC is offering the 2024 trainees an expanded year-long programme of support. The patient representatives look forward to continuing to support the trainees with their activities over the coming year.

Thanks to the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) for inviting us to be a part of this event.

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