Research we fund

World Cancer Research Fund UK funds and supports vital scientific research into cancer prevention to ensure that we have the latest and most authoritative information at our fingertips

All of our research has the same objective – to improve our understanding of cancer risk and how to reduce it.

Read on to learn more about the scientists and the projects we currently fund.

If you are a researcher interested in applying for a research grant, you can get full details of what we fund and how to apply by visiting WCRF International's website.

Bowel cancer

  • Professor Julian Marchesi, University of Cardiff, UK. This three-year grant provides Professor Marchesi's team with funding to determine if bacteria in the gut can affect both normal and cancerous cells and, if so, how.
  • Dr Marc Gunter, Imperial College London, UK. Dr Gunter’s team will use a new technology to measure the levels of hundreds of molecules in people with and without bowel cancer to see whether they can detect any differences between them.
  • Professor Mark Hull, University of Leeds, UK. The results of Professor Hull recent study suggest that the risk of bowel cancer may actually increase after obesity surgery, despite weight loss.

Breast cancer

  • Dr Karen Lillycrop, University of Southampton, UK. Dr Lillycrop’s team is looking at the effect of folic acid during different periods of a person’s life, focusing on DNA repair and cell growth in the breast.
  • Dr Brigid Lynch, Cancer Council Victoria, Australia. In this pilot health promotion study, Dr Lynch and her team hope to determine the efficacy of a 12-week intervention (using wearable technology, behavioural counselling and goal setting) in increasing physical activity and reducing sitting time in a population of breast cancer survivors.  
  • Professor Isabelle Romieu, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France. Professor Romieu’s is looking at the influence of diet, physical activity and body size on breast cancer risk in black South African women and comparing the associations to those of European women.

Kidney cancer

  • Dr Mattias Johansson, International Agency for Research on Cancer , France. Dr Johansson’s project will research kidney cancer risk factors, a cancer that has become increasingly common. Dr Johansson will investigate how obesity, hypertension and B-vitamins influence the risk of developing this cancer. 

Mouth and throat cancer

  • Professor Hilary Powers, University of Sheffield, UK. Professor Powers is examining the influence that diet has on infection of the human papilloma virus (HPV) in the mouth. The virus is linked to some cancers and she is investigating how diet and HPV infection might interact on the development of mouth and pharynx cancer among young people.

Pancreatic cancer

  • Professor Isabelle Romieu, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France. Professor Romieu's team aim to work out which fatty acid biomarkers are linked to increased pancreatic cancer risk using the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

Prostate cancer

  • Professor Stephen Finn, University of Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The link between obesity and an increased risk of cancer has been well established by scientists and this study is looking at a particular aspect of how prostate cancer spreads in the body, and how being overweight or obese could contribute to this process.
  • Dr Sarah Lewis, University of Bristol, UK. In this, the largest study of its kind on prostate cancer, Dr Lewis hopes to give a definitive insight into the nutrients that cause prostate cancer. The study aims to help understand how body size and vitamin D levels influence prostate cancer progression and the work should establish the basis for development of future food or nutrient trials.
  • Dr Ruth Travis, University of Oxford, UK. Dr Travis’s prostate cancer research will focus on analysing small but important changes in blood as the disease progresses. It is hoped that the research will help identify men at greater risk of the most aggressive forms of the disease and help develop preventive strategies. 

General cancer

  • Dr Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, France. Dr Clavel-Chapelon hopes to identify optimal dietary behaviours to minimize cancer risk, taking into account the socio-economic background, as well as to identify major changes in dietary behaviours after cancer diagnosis.
  • Dr Pietro Ferrari, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France. Dr Ferrari's study aims to develop a statistical model that combines estimates from self-reported consumption and biomarker indicators, producing a more accurate estimate of associations between dietary exposures and risk of cancer.
  • Dr Tilman Kühn, German Cancer Research Centre (DKZF), Germany. Low-dose aspirin has been shown to protect against cardiovascular diseases and more recently cancer, especially colorectal cancer. This observation suggests platelet over-activation as a major shared risk factor for both cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Dr Kühn and his team will therefore be assessing the role of dietary and lifestyle factors on anti-platelet effects to help decrease risk of cancer.
  • Dr Sarah Lewis & Professor Richard Martin, University of Bristol, UK. Dr Lewis and her colleagues are developing a protocol so mechanistic studies can be reviewed in the same systematic way as epidemiological studies are for the WCRF Continuous Update Project (CUP).
  • Dr Konstantinos Tsilidis, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Greece. Dr Tsilidis will evaluate the association between a certain foods, nutrients and cancer risk. The study will give important information about the role of food and nutrients and common cancers, such as lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer types.