Our November Grants meeting is always full as we have a little bit of everything going on. This one was no different. With 35 small grant applications, 8 PhD applications and several progress reports to get through.

We were particularly pleased to welcome Paul Thomas and Susie Manson-Bahr from the Lucy Thomas Fund who joined us to look at the applications related to the BRAF gene in bowel cancer. The family have set up the Fund with Bowel & Cancer Research in memory of Lucy a much loved daughter, wife and mum, who died of bowel cancer in April 2017.

The small grant applications covered a huge range of exciting new approaches, from using our canine companions to sniff out cancer to developing ways of getting the medication to the tumour using microbubble technology. We are pleased that 11 of the best have been invited to develop their ideas into full applications.

Of our PhD applications, 4 stood out for funding, covering cancer as well as much more rare bowel disease. We're pleased to be able to fund 1 in 2 of those who applied. We were able to fund these this year as a direct resullt of receiving a large gift in a will. It really brings home just how generous and incredibly valuable leaving a gift in a will is.

Finally the committee members looked at how our funding for current research is making an impact. We're delighted that the two of our PhD students coming to the end of their studies have both done extraordinary things and that we have provided such a springboard to their future careers. It's testament to the quality of the research experience that they received in strong and supportive teams.

And all the mince pies were eaten; slightly premature but roll on Xmas...

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