Cancer scientists take part in Tough Mudder to raise money for charity

Posted by ap507 at May 10, 2016 01:39 PM |
University of Leicester team support Cancer Research UK

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 10 May 2016

A team from the University of Leicester is all set to get down and dirty this weekend – all in the aid of charity.

Scientists based at the Cancer Research UK Leicester Centre, at the University of Leicester, who are working on early detection of different cancers, will take part in their first Tough Mudder on 14 May.    

Barbara Ottolini, from the University, is one of the members taking part and hoping to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

She said: “We all want to do our bit for cancer research and something challenging at the same time. We will be running on the muddy hills of Belvoir Castle (Grantham, Leicestershire) to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

“This impromptu idea stems from all the inspirational fundraisers we have met during our relatively comfortable life on the edge (of a lab bench).

“It is important for us that cancer patients and their families know that our job is not just an occupation but a full time vocation that we will pursue in any possible way.

“We are training for this adventure all together, with the certainty that we will bond even more, as friends and as part of just one of the many teams engaged in Cancer Research. 

“We would be extremely grateful for every pound of support people will be willing to give us and we will work hard every day to turn donations into a research advancement to beat cancer sooner.”

The researchers all work on liquid biopsies for early detection of cancer.  In particular, their research involves looking at the DNA in the blood of cancer patients. The team hope to develop a diagnostic test that will have a profound impact on cancer detection, treatment and monitoring:

-          It will allow detection of cancer at very early stages (when the cancer is not spread to other organs), when chances of cure are higher.

-          It will allow treatment to be tailored to each patient’s needs and to each specific cancer. There are new extremely efficient treatments targeting cancers bearing specific mutations: identifying the patients that will benefit the most from a specific treatment will maximise their chance of an effective cure.

-          It will help to monitor cancer patients in remission. The identification of very early signs of recurrence will enable to re-start treatment as soon as possible, before the appearance of any symptom.

-          It will be a simple blood test instead of biopsies or other invasive procedures.

Dr Ottolini added: “Tough Mudder is not a race, it’s a challenge designed to test teamwork and grit. Packed with challenging obstacles that require teamwork and camaraderie, Tough Mudder allows you to test your physical and mental limits while bonding with your friends and making new ones.”

To sponsor the team please go to the Just Giving page:

The Mud Scientists Team is composed by:

  • Mark Openshaw (Clinical Research Fellow and PhD student )
  • Annabel Sharkey (Clinical Research Fellow and PhD student)
  • Barbara Ottolini (Research Associate)
  • Cristina Gutierrez Caballero (Research Associate and Birthday girl)
  • Daniel Fernandez Garcia (Research Associate)
  • David Guttery (Research Associate)
  • Luke Martinson (PhD student)


Note to newsdesk: For more information please contact Barbara Ottolini:


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