Nottingham academic recognised in Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards

A cancer researcher at Nottingham Trent University has been rewarded for his continued support for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.

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Professor Robert Rees

A cancer researcher at Nottingham Trent University has been rewarded for his continued support for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.

Professor Robert Rees, the Director of the University's John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, was presented with the 'Scientific Supporter of the Year' prize at the charity's annual Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards.

Nottingham Trent University has a long-standing relationship with Anthony Nolan, going back almost 20 years, from which a number of highly successful projects have emerged.

In 2008, Professor Rees helped to facilitate the Anthony Nolan Cord Blood Bank at the University's Clifton Campus, which is used to store stem cells from the blood of new-born babies' umbilical cords, for use in life-saving transplants and pioneering medical research.

As part of this he also helped to establish the Anthony Nolan Chair of Immunohaematology, the first role of its kind to be funded by the charity.

The cord blood bank was funded by a £1.4m donation from the East Midlands Development Agency (emda).

Cord blood stem cells have been highly successful in renewing bone marrow and regenerating the immune systems of those with life-threatening illnesses including leukaemia, sickle-cell diseases, and immune deficiencies.

Nottingham Trent University is proud of its record of research collaboration with Anthony Nolan and the establishment the Cord Blood Programme.

Professor Robert Rees, Nottingham Trent University



Cells donated to the facility are also available for researchers seeking treatments for a host of health problems including heart and liver conditions, diabetes and auto-immune disease.

Anthony Nolan manages the UK bone marrow register.

Professor Rees said: "Anthony Nolan helped to find potentially lifesaving donors for more than 1,200 people in the last year, with the specific aim of renewing the immune system of patients through stem cell transplantation.

"This is a phenomenal achievement and Nottingham Trent University is proud of its record of research collaboration with Anthony Nolan and the establishment the Cord Blood Programme, now located in the East Midlands.

"Anthony Nolan is a remarkable organisation with a professional and passionate team of supporters, which helps to make it a world leader. What most people do not realise is the enormously important research undertaken by Anthony Nolan scientists and their collaborators in the UK and across the globe.

"Our joint research with Anthony Nolan into cancer vaccines led to one of the first clinical trials designed to improve the treatment for patients with leukaemia."

The charity's awards ceremony was held at the House of Commons  in London, with winners decided by a panel which included the Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, Henny Braund.

Henny Braund said: "Professor Rees is an incredible supporter and longstanding friend of the charity and we're delighted that he has won this award. We couldn't do what we do without scientific supporters like Professor Rees who collaborate with us to champion the needs of transplant patients and help us save more lives every day.

"He thoroughly deserves this recognition."

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Helen Breese, Media Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email; or Dave Rogers, Media Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email.

    Nottingham Trent University's John van Geest Cancer Research Centre is a unique purpose-built scientific facility. Its aim is to save lives and speed recovery by improving the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

    The centre focuses on two key approaches to the treatment of patients with cancer:

    • Improving the diagnosis and management of breast and prostate cancers
    • Developing effective vaccines and immunotherapies that will significantly improve the survival rates and quality of life for cancer sufferers.

    Previous research at the centre identified HAGE as a protein expressed in several types of human tumours, important in the progression of cancer, as a potential therapeutic target and, as shown here, a biomarker in breast cancer associating with aggressive disease, but also predictive of the outcome of current therapies.

    Visit the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre website to find out more about its work, or to make a donation towards its vital scientific research.

Nottingham academic recognised in Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards

Published on 31 October 2014
  • Category: Press

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