MORE THAN half a million pounds has been committed to a new initiative called Cellular Molecular Pathology (CM-Path) which aims to boost UK pathology research, it was announced at the annual National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool today, (Sunday).

A collaboration of NCRI Partners has committed £635,000 to the initiative over five years to boost the UK’s research activity in cellular molecular pathology – the science of understanding disease at the level of tissue and cells, including their DNA.

The CM-Path programme, launching in early 2016, will bring together experts from pathology and other fields to build a stronger base of people and resources for the UK to undertake pathology research. The new funding will also help to boost activity in the centres of excellence where pathologists investigate cancer biology and treatment.

The development of the initiative was carried out by a dedicated working group of pathology experts in the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) network. It will be funded as a collaborative venture between 10 of the NCRI partner organisations: Bloodwise, Breast Cancer Now, Cancer Research UK, the Chief Scientist Office (Scotland), the Department of Health (England), Health and Care Research Wales (Welsh Government), Health and Social Care (N Ireland), the Medical Research Council, Prostate Cancer UK and Tenovus Cancer Care.

This is a hugely exciting opportunity for researchers and pathologists throughout the UK. This funding will allow us to advance cancer research and inspire the next generation of pathologists to develop as researchers. It will help us find better ways to diagnose patients and direct them to the right treatment. This is critical to cancer and will also benefit other diseases. The ECMC network and NCRI have provided invaluable support for me and my colleagues to develop the CM-Path proposal.”

Dr Bridget Wilkins, NCRI Lead for Pathology Engagement


This initiative recognises the vital role that pathologists play in cancer research. It also provides an exceptional opportunity to ensure that the best value for patients is achieved from investment in pathology research in the UK. The announcement is especially welcome today as it coincides with National Pathology Week, an annual celebration of the contribution that pathology makes to everyone’s health.

Dr Suzy Lishman, President of the Royal College of Pathologists


CM-Path is a great example of how NCRI adds value to what individual funders can achieve on their own. As a collaborative venture, research funders from government and charity sectors can unite to support the UK pathology community to enhance its vital research.

Dr Karen Kennedy, Director, NCRI