Charity commemorates founder as it launches 40th birthday appeal

In 1979 Dr Colin Thomson, a lecturer in theoretical chemistry, founded Worldwide Cancer Research in St Andrews, Scotland. 40 years on, the charity remembers its trailblazing founder with the Colin Thomson Memorial Lecture, which will be given by Columbia Professor Carol Prives at the annual Beatson International Cancer Conference in Glasgow on 30th June.

While he dedicated his life to cancer research, tragically Colin himself died of the disease in 1997. With 1 in 2 people in the UK now being diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, the need for bold new cancer research is as high as ever.

Charity commemorates founder as it launches 40th birthday appeal
Dr Colin Thomson – Worldwide Cancer Research Founder

Since being established, Worldwide Cancer Research has funded 1,128 scientists and kickstarted 1,888 discoveries. Thanks to research like this, twice as many people now survive cancer after diagnosis than they did four decades ago.

That’s why, for its 40th birthday, Worldwide Cancer Research is sponsoring the Colin Thomson Memorial Lecture at the world-renowned conference. It is why the charity is asking supporters for an extra £20.19 in 2019, to help develop new cancer therapies that will offer better and more advanced treatment options.

Charity commemorates founder as it launches 40th birthday appeal
Dr Helen Rippon – Worldwide Cancer Research CEO

Dr Helen Rippon, the charity’s CEO said:

“Colin’s passion remains at the heart of everything we do. If we don’t continue to take chances and invest in cutting-edge, bold research ideas today, we risk losing the cures of tomorrow. Colin would say that the biggest risk when it comes to research is not taking one, and that is why events like the Beatson International Cancer Conference, which brings together the world’s leading cancer research scientists, are so important – and why we are proud to support it during our birthday year.”

Worldwide Cancer Research’s 40th-year big impact appeal has raised over £24,000 so far. If you would like to help find and fund the bold ideas that save lives, please donate £20.19 by calling 0300 777 7910 or online at