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Meet Dr Alan Parker.

Tenovus Cancer Care funded a research project managed by Dr Alan Parker.

I run a research group of approximately eight people made up of some Post Doctorates, PhD students and Post Graduate students. In our group we work on viruses to try and develop them into potential treatments for cancer.

Viruses have something of a bad press because we’re always hearing about Ebola outbreaks, Zika outbreaks and of course Measles which is topical in South Wales. Within our group we believe that if viruses are correctly trained and reprogrammed they can be very useful treatments for cancer.

First we try to understand how viruses affect normal healthy cells. By understanding this at a very detailed level we’re able to change the virus and stop it affecting normal healthy cells, and then change it further so that it will only affect cancer cells. It’s called Tumour Selective Virotherapy; viruses that are therapeutic.

Alex Baker was the first Tenovus Cancer Care funded PhD Student to join our group. His research was quite exciting because it looked at a completely different species of virus called Adenovirus Type 49. We discovered that this virus has some very interesting features that make it promising as a potential cancer treatment for the future.

We were extremely grateful to receive the funding to recruit Alex for his project and we are continuing to develop our relationship with Tenovus Cancer Care; recruiting our second co-funded student through the KESS programme in October 2018.

A lot of the research we do with Tenovus Cancer Care is funded by the public, we’re asking for charitable donations and it’s really important that in return for those donations we go out and inform the public about how we’re using their money.

Talking to the public about our research and how we’re trying to find new ways to treat cancer is very important. We’re doing our best to undertake exciting research and that couldn’t happen without the exceptional hard work that goes on with fundraising and the people that are donating to the charity.

Dr Alan Parker

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