Sky Sports team at Prof. Colin Cooper's lab


    Sky Sports recently conducted an exclusive interview with Prof Colin Cooper, delving into the groundbreaking discoveries being made within his lab at the Bob Champion Research & Education Building (BCREB) at UEA.

    The interview shed particular light on the impact of the Bob Willis Fund's generous support and highlighted the dedication of all those involved in the fight against prostate cancer.

    Prof Cooper said, “Being able to share our research and its potential impact with a broader audience is truly heartening. The involvement of the Bob Willis Fund has not only empowered our work but also raised awareness about the critical need for continued support in the work we do.”

    The Pursuit of Progress

    In the realm of medical research, the journey to find innovative solutions can be challenging and arduous. However, when determined minds come together, they can blaze a trail towards groundbreaking advancements that hold the potential to transform lives. This is precisely the story behind the remarkable collaboration between the Bob Willis Fund and Professor Colin Cooper, whose efforts are making a significant impact in the field of prostate cancer diagnostics.

    The Bob Willis Fund, led by Bob's widow, Lauren Clark, his daughter Katie, and his brother David, was established with a clear vision—to support initiatives that drive progress in prostate cancer research. 

    This disease, being one of the biggest causes of death in men, reveals that the current prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is very unreliable and that we need better and quicker ways to detect prostate cancer, earlier. With a strong commitment to honoring Bob's legacy, the Fund sought to collaborate with exceptional researchers who shared their passion for advancing the fight against this devastating disease. Apart from many other events, the Fund organises Blue for Bob days every year to raise awareness and funds, some of which have been received to support the development of new diagnostic tests at UEA.

    Colin Cooper and members of The Bob Willis Fund at UEA
    Colin Cooper and members of The Bob Willis Fund at UEA

    Pioneering Work at UEA

    Prof Cooper and his team are working tirelessly to develop effective and accurate diagnostic tests that could potentially revolutionize early detection and treatment outcomes. Thanks to our generous donor and supporter community, UEA’s new tests for prostate cancer have entered their final stages of development. The Tiger Test and Prostate Urine Risk (PUR) Test will be presented to the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS), the national body responsible for managing the treatments to be licensed by the NHS and other health providers.

    Making an Impact

    Lauren, the driving force behind the Bob Willis Fund became profoundly inspired by UEA’s commitment to prostate cancer research. Recognising the transformative potential of Prof Cooper’s work, she and the Bob Willis Fund have been extending their financial support to his team’s endeavours at UEA. With their backing and support from our donor community, Prof Cooper has been able to access cutting-edge technology, consumables, apply to UKAS and benefit from the expertise of the very bright minds necessary to challenge the received wisdom.

    With each philanthropic contribution, Prof Cooper and his team moves one step closer to transforming the landscape of prostate cancer diagnostics and, ultimately, saving lives.

    You can view Prof Cooper’s interview that was aired on Sky Sports during the recent Ashes cricket series, click here. Wonderfully, one avid cricket fan saw the interview on television during the Test match and has just made a major donation to our research!

    Find out more about UEA's Prostate Cancer Research

    If you would like to find out more about UEA’s work in prostate cancer research and opportunities to get involved, please contact the Development Office:

    Contact the Development Office