Q & A with Dr Jason Adhikaree

In the Spring 2015 issue of The Grey Matters, our printed newsletter, we featured an interview with Dr Jason Adhikaree, one of the leading researchers we fund. You can read the full interview below.

In 2014 Dr Jason Adhikaree was awarded our first Clinical Research Training Fellowship. The fellowships are jointly funded by The Brain Tumour Charity and the Medical Research Council and are designed to attract talented doctors to the brain tumour research field. Dr Adhikaree is investigating how the body's immune system could be used to fight glioblastoma brain tumours. He is based at the University of Nottingham.

Why did you apply for the Clinical Research Training Fellowship?

The fellowship gives doctors like myself an opportunity to dedicate three or four years to research. It allows excellent quality research to be combined with clinical experience to push forward advances in the doctor's specialty.

Why is getting more clinicians involved in brain tumour research important?

Improvements in survival will require research in a range of areas to increase understanding of the causes of brain tumours, detection, imaging and treatments. To achieve this, clinicians and scientists from all backgrounds must unite.

What motivates you in your job?

As a researcher and an oncologist my main goal is to improve cancer treatment through my research and ultimately patient outcomes. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see my projects improving survival.

What is the potential impact of your research?

Immunotherapy, manipulating a patient's immune system to attack their own cancer, is an exciting emerging treatment option. One type of this therapy is a vaccine using white blood cells which is showing promise in early trials. I am aiming to enhance these vaccines and I will also be looking at combining them with additional immunotherapies which allow a greater immune attack on cancer cells, potentially paving the way for clinical trials.

Why is more money needed for research?

Research into multiple areas is essential to improving survival. The more money we can invest in these areas, the better the outcomes we will achieve.

How would you help us raise funds?

It would probably be a long distance assault course. I have run the London Marathon, three half marathons and a 10k Santa Run in the last 18 months so I am planning the next challenge!