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CRUK Manchester Institute researcher receives Fulbright Award to the US

16 May 2018

Dr Stuart Williamson, a postdoctoral researcher from the CRUK Manchester Institute has received a Fulbright-Cancer Research UK Scholar Award to enable him to research at Stanford University on one of the most well-regarded and impactful scholarship programmes in the world.

As a participant, Stuart has been selected to continue his work on Small Cell Lung Cancer studying Vasculogenic Mimicry, a process where tumour cells generate blood vessels independent to the body’s normal process. He hopes that Stanford’s unique interdisciplinary approach to research will offer unique perspectives to identify novel therapeutic targets.

As part of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar programme, the Scholar Awards provide the only scholarships available to academics and other professionals for lecturing and/or research in any discipline at any accredited US university. The Awards form part of the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s work to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange.

Commenting on receiving the Award, Stuart said: “I am incredibly excited to be awarded a Fulbright-Cancer Research UK Scholarship. This opportunity will allow me to see the unique innovative research approaches utilised at Stanford, which I hope to bring back with me to the UK. My hope is that this placement will allow me to cast a light on an extremely aggressive tumour type which will hopefully lead to new treatment approaches”.  

Stuart and the other 46 British grantees of the 2018-19 Fulbright cohort will celebrate their success at a reception hosted by the US Embassy in June.

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission said:

“In the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s 70th year, we can look back on the lasting impact that more than 27,000 educational exchanges between Brits and Americans have had – both on participants and on our two countries. We know that this cohort of Scholars will make the most of this opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture, develop ongoing partnerships, and move us closer to fulfilling Senator Fulbright’s vision of a world of peace and prosperity through greater understanding between our peoples.”

Scholar Bio: Stuart Williamson is a Cancer Researcher based in Manchester. He completed his PhD investigating the rare subsets of tumour cells driving cancer. Stuart continues to work on this topic, focussing on Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC). He has demonstrated that a subset of SCLC tumour cells can form blood vessels through a process called Vasculogenic Mimicry (VM). The presence of VM is associated with poor prognosis and resistance to therapy. Stuart will be building on this work during his Fulbright Scholarship at Stanford University. He will be investigating VM at each stage of cancer, from tumour initiation through to the formation metastases. He hopes to identify how VM is contributing to cancer progression and to try to identify novel therapeutic targets. He hopes that the interdisciplinary collaboration Stanford is famous for will offer unique opportunities to improve outcomes in SCLC and wants to bring this cooperative ethos back with him to the UK. Stuart is interested in technology, music and nature, so is excited to make the most of his time in California’s Bay Area.