Our approach to funding is to support exceptional research that covers a wide range of themes including understanding the causes of primary bone cancer, developing new ways to diagnose these, identifying new ways to treat primary bone cancer and improving the quality of life for those with and living beyond a primary bone cancer diagnosis.
In 2017 we defined our strategic focus to 2022 - which will be the biggest commitment to primary bone cancer EVER. Throughout these years, we will support researchers to find the breakthroughs that will ultimately lead to a cure for primary bone cancer. We will work closely with other charities to reach these goals and we also welcome partnership invitations.
BCRT are committed to funding the highest quality research in a fair and transparent manner, our Peer Review Policy can be found here
The Bone Cancer Research Trust is proud to be a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), the national membership organisation of leading medical and health research charities
AMRC membership is the hallmark of quality research funding. To be accepted into the AMRC membership, charities must demonstrate that they follow the AMRC's rigorous standards in peer review, and therefore, providing supporters with reassurance that their money is being spent on only the highest quality research.
Membership also helps our research money go further:
- Funding from AMRC members that is awarded via open competition is eligible for the Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF). This means that for every pound BCRT fund another 26p is invested in universities. This means that BCRT funding can be spent purely on research and the CRSF can allow the maintenance of labs, lighting and heating – the full economic costs of conducting research.
- The AcoRD agreement ensures that AMRC members only pay the direct research costs of clinical research in the NHS. The Department of Health will meet all costs for local trial co-ordination and management, data collection, and regulatory fees.
Members of the Independent Scientific Advisory Panel
Chair: Professor Pamela Kearns MBChB, BSc (Hons), PhD, FRCPCH.
Professor Pam Kearns is Chair of Clinical Paediatric Oncology at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital. She is Director of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and Director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU). As Director of CRCTU, she leads the research strategy for one of UK's largest cancer trials unit, delivering a trials portfolio of over 100 multi-centre & international cancer trials for a wide-range of cancers, occurring in all children, young people and adults, notably leading the National Children’s Cancer Trials Team responsible the vast majority of UK’s clinical trial portfolio for children and young people with cancer. Her research is focused on research in childhood acute leukaemias and lymphomas and drug development and innovation in the design and delivery of clinical trials for childhood cancers.
She was elected President of the European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe) in 2019, having been a Board member since 2013. She has several European roles including Executive Board Member of the academic consortium ‘Innovative Therapeutics in Childhood Cancer’ (ITCC), Chair of ITCC’s European Sponsor Institutions Committee and Steering Committee member of the International multi-stakeholder platform ‘ACCELERATE’. Her research interests are focused of drug development and innovation of design and delivery of clinical trials for childhood cancers. She was also a Senior Clinical Advisor to Cancer Research UK from 2015 to 2020 and is now as Trustee for Cancer Research UK as well as continuing to be a Trustee of a Child of Mine, a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved parents. She is also Chair of the Research Assessment Panel for GOSH Charity, and Chair of The Independent Scientific Advisory Panel for Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Deputy Chair: Professor Bob Brown BSc PhD.
Professor Brown’s work focuses on epigenetics, patient stratification and drug resistance research, with a particular focus on ovarian cancer. He facilitates development of compounds which can reverse epigenetic silencing and is using molecular biomarker assays to aid the preclinical development and clinical use of these compounds. Recent research interests include the effect of DNA damaging agents on the epigenome, epigenetic targeting using CRISPR and whether systems oncology approaches can be used to monitor and stratify patients for targeted treatments.
Lay member: Mr Simon Allocca
Mr Allocca has had a successful executive career with extensive experience operating at executive level, including 5 years as part of Lloyds Banking Group's Senior Leaders Group, working to diffuse CEO strategy initiatives throughout the bank’s major teams.
Simon’s family became involved with the Bone Cancer Research Trust when their daughter, Rose, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Simon brings a very personal perspective to the panel.
Professor Andy Hall MBBS, FRCP, PhD, FRCPath
Emeritus professor at Newcastle University.
Professor Andy Hall is an emeritus professor at Newcastle University where his research focused on understanding factors controlling responses to anti-cancer drugs. Since retirement he has continued as a member of the Human Tissue Authority and has joined a local NHS research ethics committee. He is deputy chair of the NCRI's CM-Path initiative. He maintains a particular interest in promoting and facilitating access to tissues for medical research, particularly in rare cancers.
Mr Piers Gaunt BSc MSc
Senior Statistician, UK Clinical Trials Unit, Birmingham.
Piers Gaunt is a Senior Biostatistician within the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham. He obtained an MSc in Medical Statistics from the University of Leicester prior to joining the CRCTU. He is responsible for the design and analysis of several trials within the CRCTU in various cancer types including soft tissue sarcoma, lung, skin and head and neck.
Mr Gaunt has a keen interest in efficient clinical trials methodology, encompassing adaptive trial design and, when he has time, statistical programming in Stata. In addition to his trials work Piers participates in teaching a number of statistical Small Group Teaching sessions to Clinical Oncology and Medical students and has also lectured on other courses within the university. He is fully committed to working to improve patient outcomes with an emphasis on survival and quality of life using efficient statistical methodology.
Dr Paulo Ribeiro BSc MSc PhD
Senior Lecturer and Group Leader, Bart's Cancer Institute.
Dr Ribeiro completed his undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, where I studied Microbial Biology and Genetics. He spent his final year in the Faculty of Pharmacy studying cell death in neuronal cells.
Dr Ribeiro then entered the Gulbenkian PhD Programme in Biomedicine at the Gulbenkian Institute, which included one year of classes and laboratory rotation. This allowed him to undertake his doctoral research at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, supervised by Prof Pascal Meier, in the characterisation of the role of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins in the regulation of cell death and innate immunity.
In 2009, he joined Dr Nicolas Tapon's laboratory at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, where he studied the mechanisms regulating tissue growth, namely the Hippo tumour suppressor signalling pathway.
In August 2013, he joined Bart’s Cancer Institute in the Centre for Tumour Biology. His research group uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism and his research has three major areas of focus: role of ubiquitylation in the regulation of tissue growth; role of reversible ubiquitylation in tissue invasion; and modelling tumour heterogeneity
Professor Thomas G P Grünewald MD.
Professor Dr. Dr. Thomas Grünewald investigates the genetic and molecular basis of pediatric bone and soft-tissue sarcomas with the long-term mission to improve patients’ outcome. His research aims at elucidating the interplay of germline variation and somatic mutation especially in Ewing sarcoma and examines, with respect to future clinical exploitation, how somatic driver mutations interfere with developmental pathways to promote tumorigenesis, tumor heterogeneity and drug-resistance. He graduated in 2007 in medicine at the University of Würzburg (Germany) after completion of clinical rotations in Hamburg and Berlin (Germany), Niigata (Japan), Philadelphia (USA), Sheffield and Newcastle upon Tyne (UK), and Buenos Aires (Argentina). He obtained his M.D. with summa cum laude in clinical biochemistry in 2008. In the same year, he started his clinical training in pediatric oncology at the Department of Pediatrics of the TU Munich (TUM), where he investigated the role of reactive oxygen species in Ewing sarcoma supported by an ‘own position’ grant of the German Research Foundation (DFG). In 2012, he obtained his Ph.D. with distinction in Medical Life Science and Technology as a fellow of the TUM Graduate School. During his postdoctoral fellowship (DFG) at the Institut Curie in Paris, he analyzed how germline variations can rewire signaling pathways driven by dominant oncogenes in Ewing sarcoma. In December 2014, he was appointed as resident physician and principal investigator at the Institute of Pathology of the LMU Munich. From 2016 to 2020, he has been leading the Max-Eder Research Group for Pediatric Sarcoma Biology funded by the German Cancer Aid. In 2018 he completed his habilitation and obtained the venia legendi for ‘Experimental Pathology’. In 2020 he was appointed as head of the division of Translational Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Hopp-Children’s Cancer Center (KiTZ) in Heidelberg. Since 2021 he holds a full professorship (W3) at the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg. In parallel, he continues his residency in pathology at the Institute of Pathology of the Heidelberg University Hospital.