Boost for breast cancer as Professor funds research in his wife’s memory

11 May 2009

A landmark £1million donation from the Muriel Edith Rickman Trust has enabled The University of Manchester’s School of Cancer and Imaging Sciences to establish a new Chair and lab dedicated to breast cancer research.

Professor Peter Rickman established the Muriel Edith Rickman Trust in 1982 in memory of his late wife who died from oesophageal cancer. Prior to awarding this gift, the trust has given almost £2 million to various causes in medical research. Passionate about the vital role of research in improving outcomes for people affected by cancer, he invited several leading UK centres to bid for this significant gift before deciding to support The University of Manchester.

As the first incumbent of the Muriel Edith Rickman Chair in Breast Oncology, Professor Tony Howell brings world recognised expertise as both a researcher and clinician, and will lead an extended programme of research into breast cancer, and further develop national and international research collaborations.

Speaking at his inauguration today (May 11), Professor Tony Howell said: “In awarding this landmark gift to Manchester, Professor Rickman recognised our excellence in breast cancer research. His vision and commitment to research will enable us to achieve our goal in becoming a true world leader in the field and translating our research into real clinical benefits for the very many people affected by this disease.”

Marking the official opening of the Muriel Edith Rickman laboratory, Professor Rickman said: “The memory of Muriel will live on here through the work of these eminent researchers. It gives me a great sense of pride to be able to play such a tangible role in improving the lives of people suffering from cancer.”

Professor Rickman, an eminent researcher in his own right, is a Visiting Professor at City University and has published numerous papers and 16 books throughout his career.

Cancer research in Manchester has been officially ranked as world leading and the best in the UK by the prestigious government-led Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008.

Professor Tony Whetton, Head of the School of Cancer and Imaging Sciences, said: “This is a fantastic result and gives the highest possible endorsement to the outstanding research that is taking place in Manchester. Our work through the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, which is a unique partnership between the University, the Christie and Cancer Research UK, has helped us achieve this success.”

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Notes for editors

For further information contact:

Aeron Haworth
Media Officer
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8383
Email: aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk