These include understanding how cells respond to and repair radiation-induced DNA damage, defining the microenvironmental factors that affect these responses and identifying targets to alter tumour or normal tissue responses to radiation. We aim to integrate basic research with imaging science to advance radiation therapy and enable earlier detection of secondary cancers.
The CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology at the University of Oxford has brought together researchers from around the World. Directed by Professor Gillies McKenna, the Oxford Institute is collaboratively supported by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).
It sits within the Department of Oncology and is physically located in two research buildings: the Radiobiology Research Institute, which houses the Institute’s imaging suites, and the Old Road Campus Research Building, which contains specialist research facilities. It is ideally situated close to other key research laboratories of the University of Oxford and also the OUHT Cancer and Haematology Centre, providing the perfect environment for strong and fruitful multidisciplinary collaborations.
The CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute's research staff and students are supported by a number of state-of-the-art core facilities that combine research and service provision:
- Imaging and Biomedical Cores – enable the integration of new and better imaging strategies into the preclinical testing of novel therapeutic approaches.
- Radiation Physics Core – develops novel radiation sources and techniques and provides unique radiation resources and expertise, including ensuring accurate dosimetry and calibration of sources.
- Bioanalysis Core – provides scientific expertise in the use of flow cytometry and high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS), particularly in support of clinical studies.
- Bioinformatics Core – provides support in the evaluation of data from gene expression arrays, proteomics and other ‘omics’ platforms and statistical analysis.
- Microscopy Core – supports microscope users and spearheads novel approaches and advanced applications, such as FLIM, FRET and confocal microscopy.
- Design Workshop – delivers design consultation, computer aided design, material sourcing, manufacture and assembly. Arguably one of the best mechanical and electrical design workshops in any University department.
In order to fulfil its mission and achieve its goals, the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute has four strategic areas of focus: