Research we fund

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

Our research has the following objectives – to improve our understanding of cancer risk and how to reduce it and to understand the role of diet, nutrition, body composition and physical activity on cancer survivors.

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.
  • Dr Guy Fagherazzi, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, France. Dr Fagherazzi is researching interactions between changes in dietary patterns and the socio-economic environment, and their links with cancer risk.
  • Dr Michael Michael, Flinders University, Australia. Dr Michael is investigating the involvement of dietary fibre and its affect on genetic replication in tumour progression of bowel cancer.

Bowel and endometrial (womb) cancer

  • Professor Andrew Renehan, University of Manchester, UK. Professor Renehan is examining the impact of body mass index (BMI) on cancer-related survival in patients with bowel or womb cancer who have not had chemotherapy.

Breast cancer

  • Dr Brigid Lynch, Cancer Council Victoria, Australia. In this pilot health promotion study, Dr Lynch and her team hope to determine the affect on physical activity and sitting time of a 12-week intervention (using wearable technology, behavioural counselling and goal setting) 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.
  • Dr Laure Dossus, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France. Dr Dossus is investigating whether the association between body size and breast cancer is related to immune function and chronic inflammation.

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. 

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 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 bowel cancer. This observation suggests blood cell 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-blood cell effects to help decrease risk of cancer.
  • 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, bowel and prostate cancer types.
  • Dr Inga Prokopenko, Imperial College, UK. Dr Prokopenko is using genomics to discover the biological processes that link diabetes and cancer.