Karolina Janczar, the first PhD student that BTRC funded, graduated summer 2010 – here is her story …

I joined the BTRC research team in January 2007 as a PhD student, following my pre-registration medical training in Poland where I originally graduated in 2005.

I was working under the supervision of Dr Federico Roncaroli at the Neuropathology Unit located in the Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College London. Subsequently, while the John Fulcher Molecular Neuro-oncology Laboratory gained its current shape and pace,  I also had the opportunity to work with Dr Nelofer Syed who joined the group, having previously had extensive experience in cancer epigenetics. I was consequently in a unique position as I could benefit from the clinical knowledge of Dr Roncaroli and scientific expertise of Dr Syed, while trying to decipher the role and regulation of translocator protein (TSPO) in human gliomas. Currently, we believe TSPO levels might help to pre-operatively distinguish glioma subtypes of different prognosis. Further, my research shed some light on the significance of other proteins associated with mitochondria and linked to cellular metabolism in glioma, The results of this work funded by BTRC were presented during scientific neuro-oncology meetings in the UK and USA.

In April 2010 I submitted my thesis on “The Mitochondrial Translocator Protein in Human Gliomas” which was then examined by Professor Geoffrey Pilkington (University of Portsmouth) and Dr Paolo Muraro (Imperial College London). I successfully defended my thesis during the viva and was awarded a PhD title.

Steve Palmer’s Brathay Windermere Marathon

May 2010


Steve Palmer ran in his first ever marathon on May 16th in memory of his father-in-law Cliff Tinworth: the 26.2 mile Brathay Windermere Marathon around the beautiful shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District


Monaco to Lyon Cycle Challenge

9th May 2010

Michael O’Connor, Graham Platts, Paul Randall, Keith Young cycled from Monaco to Lyon: “One dark wintery day in 2009, Paul had the idea that we should cycle from Monaco to Lyon “over the mountains”.   

Ever so slightly competitive by nature, Graham and I rose to the bait, swiftly overcoming the first hurdle by buying our bikes!  Paul’s bluff was called, he then had to buy a bike, and the challenge was on. .  

We are preparing a 5 day trip, cycling around 100km a day.  ‘Easy’ we hear you say.  But the slight hitch is that we start at sea level and seem to go up and down to 2,000m a few times. 

Yes, there are some serious mountain climbs.  Take a look at the picture of our first two days on the Route des Grandes Alpes.  Starting at sealevel, Day 1 is a steady 700m climb before dropping back to 300m at Sospel, then 1300m up the Col de Turini before we glide back to 600m only to climb the Col Saint Martin back up to 1500m.  Day 2 is slightly harder with the Col de la Cayolle at 2326m on our way to Barcelonette!  In comparison, the highest peak in the UK is Ben Nevis at 1344m and we are effectively climbing mt Kilimanjaro (5895m) over two days, give or take 200m…

Cancer has touched all our lives in some way.  Brain tumours are an especially harsh cancer.  Often appearing without any warning, they are very hard to treat, not least because of their location.  My mother lost her long battle with a brain tumour over a year ago now.  She received remarkable palliative care from the Marie Curie hospice in London and we have raised funds to support their extraordinary efforts.  Just a few months after losing my mother, a brain tumour suddenly took the life of our great friend and colleague Chris Lyttle.  Chris received wonderful palliative care from Macmillan Cancer Support and funds have been raised by various groups to support their work

See the diary of their trip on their justgiving site: http://www.justgiving.com/Mike-Paul-Graham-Keith

Simon Blake’s Silverstone 10k Run

May 2010

Simon Blake ran the Silverstone 10k Challenge:

Last year the father of my Best Man, Joe Scollon, died of a brain tumour.  Joe Scollon Snr is sorely missed by friends and family, alike.  On the recent first anniversary of his passing I decided to do something for the Brain Tumour Research Campaign which is the chosen charity of his family.  Brain tumour research is massively underfunded in the UK and around the world and needs as much help as we can give.  In an effort to do my bit, as unlikely as it may sound, I am going to run in the Silverstone 10k.  This involves running 2 laps of the grand prix circuit.  They may be the slowest laps ever completed but it is for a worthy cause”!  




Richard Blackburn’s Brighton Marathon

18th April 2010

Richard Blackburn ran in the Brighton Marathon on April 18th in memory of his best friend and Best Man at his wedding in 1996, Paul Jewsbury – “He received the best medicines available, the best care and the best support.  In the end, though, he lost his fight and a family was robbed of a dad, a husband and even a last Christmas together.  I’ll always remember Paul and always miss him, but I’ve promised myself not to be sad.  I shall remember him as he was, not as he was with Cancer”.


Dan Wiggins and friends multi-fundraising efforts for BTRC

Mission accomplished!
John O’Groats to Land’s End Cycle Ride
14th April – 2nd May 2010

Dan’s cycle ride from John O’Groats began on April 14th, and he and his support team, together with some 50 cyclists who joined him along the way, raised over £23,000 before they even begun and even more since for BTRC!

Read the pre-ride Press Release

Please take a look at his website and see the route he took. Mission accomplished, 905 miles, 12 punctures, 8 fall offs or collisions, 60 cyclists and a staggering amount of money raised.

A big congratulations and thank you from BTRC to all who participated and to those who gave. http://www.justgiving.com/Danwiggins-BTRC

See full story and Dan’s blog: www.mindovermiles.org