Prostate cancer has now overtaken lung cancer to become the most common male cancer in the UK with 35,000 cases diagnosed each year and around 11,000 deaths. This is what UEA wants to change. In collaboration with our partners on the Norwich Research Park, which include The John Innes Centre and the Institute for Food Research, we are developing a unique research programme focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this cancer.
The fund was established in memory of UEA alumnus and England rugby player, Andy Ripley (SOC66), who sadly passed away in June 2010 following his fight with prostate cancer. Before he passed Andy worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease and to generate further investment in research.
Andy joined UEA in 1966 as an undergraduate and played his first rugby in the earliest years of the University. He went on to play for Rosslyn Park RFC and subsequently became a member of the British Lions, playing for England 24 times from 1972 to 1976. He was also an exceptional seven-a-side player, winning the inaugural World Cup Sevens in 1973. A few weeks before his untimely death, Andy was awarded an OBE by HRH The Prince of Wales in recognition of his services to sport.
Thanks to the amazing work of Andy’s UEA friends over the last four years, which has included walking the coast to coast path twice, it was possible to award the first Andy Ripley PhD Studentship earlier this year. Helen Curley is now in post and has dedicated her time to prostate cancer research, working alongside Professor Colin Cooper, our leading expert in the field.
We now want to set our sights higher and raise funds for a second studentship to continue, and expand on, all the great work that is already taking place. The cost of establishing such a PhD studentship for a three-year term is £75,000, therefore we need as much alumni support as possible.
Find out more about how The Difference Campaign seeks to raise further support for UEA’s Prostate Cancer Research programme by investing further in the work of Professor Colin Cooper and his team on the Norwich Research Park.