Dr. David Clynes spoke to Children with Cancer UK about his research:
What do you do?
I was awarded a Paul O’Gorman Fellowship through Children with Cancer UK which has allowed me to set up a program of research. It is aiming to develop novel approaches for the treatment of a subset of childhood cancers that are particularly difficult to treat, including many brain cancers. I am interested in a specific property of a cancer cell which enables them to divide indefinitely and form a tumour through lengthening of DNA sequences called telomeres. More recently, I have been awarded a small project grant from Children with Cancer UK which explores the biology underpinning certain childhood leukaemia’s.
What is an average day like for you?
I guess there is no typical day really, which is one of the great things about research! I strongly believe that research shouldn’t be a solitary pursuit and as such I encourage my lab to share ideas and be open about their work. I will have very interesting discussions on a daily basis. I find that breakthroughs and scientific ideas only really hit you when you discuss with others. You really need to enjoy your research and lab environment and then the hard work you undoubtedly need to be successful becomes easy!
Who will this help?
This work is important as many of the cancers I study have an extremely poor prognosis and therefore we desperately need new approaches to treating these cancers. This include many cancers of the central nervous system, including Glioblastoma Multiforme. Strikingly, this is particularly true in paediatric cases and hence my lab is funded through Children with Cancer UK where I hope to shed new light on strategies that can be used to understand and treat these currently incurable cancers.
Why do you think Children with Cancer UK is important?
Funding basic research is absolutely paramount if in the long term we want to beat childhood cancers. Children with Cancer UK is at the forefront of providing this funding.
Why do you need funding from Children with Cancer UK?
Simply put I wouldn’t be able to perform my research without the support of Children with Cancer UK.