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Researcher wins Engagement Prize for cancer research

Professor Fran Balkwill from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has been awarded an Engagement Prize by Cancer Research UK.

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Professor Fran Balkwill
Professor Fran Balkwill

The prizes are awarded to outstanding researchers who have shown extraordinary commitment in actively engaging and involving the public and patients with science.

Professor Balkwill from QMUL’s Barts Cancer Institute (BCI) was selected to receive the ‘Inspiring Leadership in Research Engagement Prize’ which honours those who have demonstrated a significant commitment to public engagement with science, and have embedded a culture of public engagement within their institution or research group.

On receiving the prize, Professor Balkwill said: “This award is really a reflection of all the amazing people I have been fortunate enough to work with.

“Public engagement in our field of work is incredibly important. We need to be able to justify what we do to non-specialist audiences and engage in a dialogue about biomedical science with a range of audiences. We also want to inspire the next generation of scientists and help people make informed choices about biomedical science issues.

“It’s also great fun and I get to work with some fantastic people through these activities.”

Professor Nick Lemoine, Director of the BCI, added: “Fran is a fantastic example of everything the Inspiring Leadership in Research Engagement Prize represents. She not only devotes her own time and energy to opening up cancer research to everyone, but enables and encourages those around her to do the same.

“As a Founder and Director of the Centre of the Cell science centre and programme of activities, Fran’s work has been instrumental in embedding public engagement in work at Barts Cancer Centre. The programme has trained and enthused over 300 researchers who are now science ambassadors, and enabled them to engage with over 135,000 people since 2009.”

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