A Tayside cancer scientist is calling on fellow Dundonians to back life-saving research by signing up to Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.
Professor David Lilley, a scientist at Dundee University, is swapping test tubes for trainers for the Race for Life event in Camperdown Park on June 16.
The 71-year old says taking to the field acts as a reminder as to why his research matters.
He said: “As a scientist in the lab, it can be easy for us to lost sight sometimes of the reason behind what we’re working on.
“But when you see people lining up to take part in the Race for Life, with the signs of their back saying who they’re running in memory of, it really focuses your mind on why we do what we do and it’s so important.”
David is director of the Cancer Research UK Nucleic Acid Structure Research Group, based in the School of Life Sciences department at Dundee University.
Part of his team’s work involves studying how cells repair DNA and the involvement of a particular molecule in the repair process, called GEN1.
It is hoped that understanding this molecule could help develop new treatments to work alongside chemotherapy to stop cancer cells from growing.
David added: “A lot of chemotherapy works by deliberately damaging the DNA in cancer cells. A way to make cancer cells even more sensitive to chemotherapy is to stop them from being able to repair the DNA.
“If we can find drugs that block DNA repair, it could help make chemotherapy more effective.”
Keen runner David hopes swathes of people in and around Dundee run alongside him to raise money for the charity.
“Together we can help beat this devastating disease and I want to encourage as many people as possible to join the fight and sign up to the race in Dundee” he said.
“As scientists, we simply couldn’t do our work without the effort and time people give to take part in events like this.”
Race for Life has challenges for all levels of runners, with 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Oretty Muddy Kids events taking place on the day. To enter, visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 12307700.