Tours of Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence

In early September the scientists at the Derriford Research Facility kindly took a group of Plymouth business leaders on a tour of their laboratories demonstrating the techniques used in their research on brain tumours.  We saw how human brain tumour cells are grown so they can be tested for changes in the genes causing the cancer.  They also can test drugs to see if they can alter the growth pattern which can give clues to future treatments.

In another lab, we saw a machine that can separate individual cells based of parameters using fluorescence labelled antibodies and lasers.  Lastly, we saw cells using a confocal microscope which enables 3 dimensional relationships in real-time to be recorded.  This helps understand how cancers cells relate to their local microenvironment.

This tour was highly educational, and we are grateful to the scientists for the time they spent with us.  Afterwards some members had the opportunity to see the Clinical Skill Centre where medical and other health students are taught how to examine patients, undertake procedure and work as a team, before they enter the clinical arena.

Some of the members were able to meet Professor Camille Carroll to discuss her work on supporting Parkinson’s Disease patients on a daily basis using new technology.

We hope that we may be able to arrange more tours in the future.  If you are interested in joining one of them, please contact Louisa Gillett by email at

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