Workshop: Human tissue models for cancer research

  • NC3Rs
Wednesday 01 March 2017 to Thursday 02 March 2017

Human tissue derived from tumour resection, clinical trial, non-transplantable donation and post-mortem sources represents a vital resource for biomedical research and pharmaceutical development. The rate of progress in developing new drugs to treat cancer has been slow, in part due to over reliance on animal models which are not sufficiently predictive of drug responses in man. The adoption of methods using human tissue has the potential to replace some of these animal models, improving predictivity and reducing animal use.

The NC3Rs is hosting a two day workshop with the following aims:

  • To bring together cancer researchers working with human tissue and other models to discuss how human tissue is used and what barriers exist to increased uptake.
  • Use examples of successful human tissue research to inform participant consideration and discussion on routes to improving predictivity to man
  • Define activities for the future which will advance the use of human tissue in cancer research as an alternative to animal modelling.


The programme consists of presentations, breakout discussions, posters and networking opportunities.

Researchers from academia and industry will speak on three topics:

  • Engineering the microphysiology of cancer with human tissue:
  • Fresh human tissue as an alternative to PDX rodent models
  • Fixed human tissue for research and drug development

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Tony Dickherber; NIH National Cancer Institute
  • Professor John Greenman; University of Hull
  • Professor Will Shu; University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Nick Lesley; Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Hayley Francies; Sanger Institute
  • Mr John Spaull; GlaxoSmithKline
  • Dr David Bunton; Biopta
  • Dr Larissa Carnevalli; AstraZeneca
  • Dr Phil Quinlan; UK Clinical Research Collaboration Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre and BBMRI-ERIC
  • Professor Neil Carragher; University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Christopher Woelk; University of Southampton
  • Professor Malcolm Clench; Sheffield Hallam University

The workshop will be chaired by Professor Gareth Thomas, University of Southampton.  Further details can be found on the draft programme here.


There will be an opportunity to present a poster on relevant work modelling cancer with human tissue. Please note, the space for posters is limited, so posters will be selected from submitted abstracts.  If you would like to present a poster at the meeting please complete and return the poster abstract form to by 15 February 2017. We will let you know if you have been successful by 21 February 2017.


Attendance is free but registration is essential. Registration closes on 17 February 2017.

You will need an NC3Rs website account to register. Please use your institutional email address when registering.

Event status

Registration now closed