The past year has continued to be challenging for NCRI Partners and the cancer research community as we recover from the initial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and adjust to our new environment. We understand the challenges, including financial, that are impacting the community, but I am convinced that NCRI has a lot to offer in our shared desire to advance cancer research for the benefit of patients.
The changes that have happened as a result of the pandemic have offered many opportunities. The wave of positivity for research seen in the public and government will have a favourable impact on the whole community and provide opportunities for NCRI. We are looking to rethink our priority areas and show leadership as the only UK independent convenor of cancer researchers and funders, including driving, influencing, and participating in policy work.
A clear focus is the earlier diagnosis of cancer, an area where NCRI is well-positioned to drive better research and show leadership. Our Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis Group has recruited eminent researchers Professor Peter Sasieni and Professor Emma Crosbie as Chair and Deputy Chair. I am looking forward to the group publishing its strategic priorities later this year and seeing the working groups demonstrating progress towards them.
Through digital innovations and new ways of working, NCRI continues to become more efficient. Virtual technology continues to enable us to convene the NCRI Groups, NCRI Consumer Forum and the newly formed NCRI Early Career Researcher Forum. The NCRI Networks launched in November 2021 now have over 1500 members and will be the basis of much work going forward. Delivering events virtually has allowed NCRI to remain connected to the community.
I’m looking forward to the year ahead, working with NCRI’s Partners and the community to identify where we can add the most value and demonstrate this to our stakeholders.