Our history

Bowel & Cancer Research was set up in the 1990s by Professor Norman Williams who was at the time a leading colorectal surgeon based at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

When I was a boy, I mentioned to an uncle that I was interested in becoming a doctor. He showed me his stoma and urged me to help people like him. My path was set from that day.

Professor Williams was determined to improve bowel research to improve the quality of life of people like his uncle, and was particularly interested in surgical research because this was very hard to translate into clinical trials in the recognised form (double-blind, placebo controlled).

From 1999 under the name of the London Immunotherapy Cancer Centre, the charity funded a small laboratory with a big vision - to develop a National Bowel Research Centre, to bring together research disciplines and drive research from the bench to the bedside, or the process by which the results of work in the laboratory are used to directly benefit patients.

In 2009 the funds were raised and a location for the National Bowel Research Centre was identified in the Abernethy Building alongside Barts £multi million Blizard Institute.

Her Majesty The Queen

In 2012 the National Bowel Research Centre became operational and in 2013 it was opened officially by Her Majesty The Queen.

Bowel & Cancer Research Today

Today Bowel & Cancer Research is a modern scientifically-rooted and socially-inclusive charity, funding innovative solutions. A member of the Association of Medical Research Charities, we pride ourselves on funding the best science across the UK to better diagnose and treat bowel cancer and other chronic and underfunded bowel diseases; to save and change lives.

We support the future of research excellence through our dedicated PhD programme and we encourage the involvement of patients, their families and friends in research through our unique public involvement programme, People and Research Together.