First week at PCRF

Pro-cancer research fund (PCRF) is a registered UK charity that has three main prongs of activity: research, outreach, and patient care. The research side is an integral part of the charity, and is led by Imperial professor Mustafa Djamgoz. Dr. Djamgoz is developing a non-toxic way of treating many different types of cancers, including Prostate, Breast, Colon, and Pancreas. The internationally acclaimed and peer-reviewed research is integral to PCRF’s mission as it gives them the necessary authority, professionalism and trust-worthiness for a supportive drop-in advice centre. PCRF offers a direct link between cutting-edge research and the patients that the research is ultimately meant to help. PCRF engages in multiple outreach talks and programs each year, such as the annual Orchid walk, aimed at making new information more accessible to the people actually affected by cancer. The patient care is delivered through the Amber Care Centre, a free drop in centre located in north London that offers professional help to cancer patients, as well as a free home nurse care program. PCRF is improving the lives of this community through awareness and prevention campaigns, psychological support, and specialist oncology detection and care, at little to no cost.

I chose this charity because its small size allows me the opportunity to take on multiple jobs that would normally be classified into many different sectors. My background is in Biology, and I am particularly interested in molecular biology. As one of the three prongs of activity is research, over the past six weeks, I have been introduced to the lab members, given a stack of seminal papers to read on the topic of “Ion Channels in Cancer”, and adopted many dishes of breast cancer cells, which I have grown and started testing drugs on. These six weeks have prepared me immensely for the second part of my internship this summer, which is the Charity Insights scheme. Having been involved in the research part has given me a significant hands-on experience, and allowed me to fully grasp PCRF’s unique approach to helping people with cancer.

During my internship at PCRF, my project will be to develop their website and assist in fundraising. The website is currently unavailable, which is a major hindrance to the potential of this organization. I will also aid in organizing a conference for 150 researchers in cancer for the 9th and 10th of September. Through the research that I have done in the past six weeks, I have learned enormous amounts about cancer to a much greater scope than has been offered to me in my course. I will use this as a base to build upon and share through the website and the blogs, and to be able to relate to the invited speakers and participants at the “Ion Channels in Cancer” conference PCRF will be hosting.

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