Professor Anne Kerr awarded joint Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award

A joint Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award has been awarded to Anne Kerr

We are delighted to announce that Professor Anne Kerr has been awarded a joint Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award in Medical Humanities with Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley from the University of Edinburgh to study 'Translations and transformations in patienthood: cancer in the post-genomics era.'

Scientific understanding of cancer has developed rapidly since the mapping of the human genome at the turn of the century, bringing novel treatments, such as personalised medicine, earlier diagnosis and screening programmes. This 5 year programme of research will examine the implications of these changes for cancer patients, their families, health care professionals and the wider public. The researchers will conduct multiple interviews, observations and group discussions, in order to explore how developments in cancer research and their clinical application change peoples' experiences of cancer risk and treatment, their relationships with health professionals and clinical researchers, and their hopes and concerns for the future. This will explore four main themes: the social issues involved in delivering stratified/personalised medicine; how new risk factors, screening, early diagnosis and monitoring for survivors fit with ideas about and experiences of being a patient; how patients think about being involved in cancer research, especially clinical trials; wider public engagement in cancer, the role of social media and new types of patient groups and activities. Working closely with patients, clinicians and scientists the research will contribute to improvements in health policy and service delivery in this important field.

The Trust aims to support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The prestigious Senior Investigator initiative supports exceptional, world-class researchers to address the most important questions about health and disease, promoting the Wellcome Trust’s Strategic Plan of achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health.

The project will begin in January 2015.