Our research in Birmingham

Birmingham is home to the Cancer Research UK Birmingham Centre, delivering world-leading research that accelerates the transition of lab-based discovery to the clinic for the benefit of people affected by cancer. 

The Cancer Research UK Birmingham Centre is a partnership between Birmingham Health Partners – a strategic alliance between the University of Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation TrustBirmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Research UK. The Centre Directors are Professor Ben Willcox and Professor Gary Middleton, and the Centre's research themes are cancer immunology, cancer genetics and the tumour microenvironment.

Last year we spent over £10m on research in Birmingham. Collaboration is key to the centre’s work. By sharing their expertise, scientists, doctors and nurses are improving the care of patients across the Midlands and beyond.


Faulty genes and the BRCA1 protein

Professor Jo Morris

Professor Jo Morris is studying how the BRCA1 protein affects cancer risk and treatment response.

The role of the immune system in pancreatic cancer

Professor Paul Moss

Professor Paul Moss is studying how pancreatic cancer cells find ways to stop our immune cells from finding and destroying them.

Targeting cancer’s vulnerabilities

cancer cells

Dr Daniel Tennant is investigating what happens when cancer cells don’t get enough oxygen.

What we're doing now

Professor Pam Kearns is Director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU) at the University of Birmingham. The unit delivers innovative and practice-changing clinical research that impacts the care and outcomes for cancer patients in the UK and across the world.


Professor Gary Middleton is leading the world’s largest precision medicine trial in lung cancer. The National Lung Matrix Trial matches different treatments to different groups of patients based on genetic changes in their cancer. 


Dr Clare Davies has identified a protein that is a key player in helping breast cancer cells grow, survive and become resistant to drugs. Dr Davies’ research now aims to work out how the protein does this and to identify potential new drug targets.


Professor Andrew Beggs is using bowel cancer samples from 200 people to grow mini tumour models, which will then be exposed to more than 2,000 drugs and treatments. The team hopes that this exciting new approach will speed up the development of new treatments to save more lives. 


Our network of Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs) are unique partnerships between local NHS Trusts and universities that bring together lab scientists and cancer doctors to speed up the flow of ideas and new treatments from the lab to the clinic. The Birmingham ECMC, led by Prof Gary Middleton, has expertise in running clinical studies in both adults and children. 

Karen Turner, our Senior Research Nurse in Birmingham, facilitates the delivery of high quality clinical trials and studies, getting new treatments into the clinic sooner. 


Get in touch

Contact the team in Birmingham

Volunteer in Birmingham

We rely on volunteers to support our pioneering, life-saving research in many ways. Volunteer in Birmingham and help beat cancer sooner.

In Birmingham

  • 6,400 people are diagnosed with cancer each year.
  • 51-54% of cancers are diagnosed early.
  • We spent over £10m on life-saving research last year.

We receive no government funding for our research. Our life-saving work relies on the money you give us.

Our strategy to beat cancer sooner

Our vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.Our new strategy will give us the foundations we need to tackle the challenges ahead.