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Our History

Almost forty years of Cancer research at Newcastle University.


Opening of the Newcastle University Cancer Research Unit (CRU)

The CRU provided the first laboratory home for cancer research in Newcastle, with 7 principal investigators.

1982 CRU


Inception of the Newcastle Anticancer Drug Discovery Initiative

Our ground-breaking initiative in academic drug discovery assembled teams of cancer biologists and medicinal chemists to develop novel anti-cancer therapies.

1990 AntiCancer drug


Opening of the Newcastle University Paediatric Oncology Unit

The POU laboratories were the first dedicated home for Newcastle’s childhood cancer researchers, focussing on research in leukaemia.

1993 Paediatric oncology unit


Formation of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR)

The NICR brought together all oncology researchers at Newcastle University, giving a focus for its activities in cancer, and a home for around 30 clinical and non-clinical principal investigators.

2000 NICR


Opening of the Paul O’Gorman Building

The £11M O’Gorman building was developed to provide state-of-the-art biomedical research facilities for our NICR principal investigators and their research teams.

2005 Paul O


Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) status

We are one of a network of 18 adult centres and 11 paediatric locations across the UK. The network drives the discovery, development and testing of new treatments to combat cancer.

2007 ECMC


Cancer Research UK Centre status

We are home to the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Centre. It is one of 15 national centres delivering world-leading research that accelerates the transition of lab-based discovery to the clinic for the benefit of people affected by cancer.

2009 Cancer research centre UK


Opening of the Northern Centre for Cancer Care and the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.

The NCCC is the major regional referral centre for cancer care in the North-East and Cumbria region, and hosts our adult ECMC centre and the Sir Bobby Robson early-phase trials unit.

2009 NCCC Bobby Robson


Opening of the Great North Children’s Hospital

The 246 bed Great North Children’s Hospital ensures that the care we offer to each and every child is second to none. As the regional referral centre for North East England, it serves a >3 million population and houses our childhood clinical research teams and paediatric ECMC centre.




Opening of the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre

Built following a £5.5 million fundraise, our Wolfson Centre is home to more than 90 childhood cancer researchers. We work as multi-disciplinary translational teams in dedicated facilities, closely linked to the Great North Children’s Hospital.



Launch of the Newcastle University Centre for Cancer

Our multi-disciplinary Centre opened in 2019, replacing the NICR. The Centre brings together all cancer and cancer-related researchers from across all three Faculties at Newcastle University, to make research advances and translate them to the clinic. It provides the research environment for >100 principal investigators and their teams.



Opening of refurbished Drug Discovery Medicinal Chemistry laboratories

Our newly refurbished laboratories provide cutting-edge facilities for cancer drug discovery and development.