Cancer Immunology

Cancer wasn’t expecting our commitment to talent.

Following on from our successful £25 million campaign to build the UK’s first Centre for Cancer Immunology, we have developed the Cancer Immunology Fund. This Fund’s mission is to support the people in the Centre to drive forward our life-saving research.

Your gift to the Cancer Immunology Fund will enable us to invest in researchers to help save children like Belle.

Belle was just a toddler when she was diagnosed with advanced stage four neuroblastoma. Although initial treatments with conventional therapies were successful, neuroblastoma carries a very high chance that the tumour will return. If it does, survival rates plummet. We felt that Belle’s best hope of a long-term cure was immunotherapy – treatments that use knowledge of the body’s natural immune system to specifically target cancer cells and destroy them. Belle was the very first child we treated with immunotherapy in Southampton, and we had high hopes.

It's now been almost nine years since Belle finished the treatment, and it’s been wonderful to watch her grow from a tiny toddler, to now be approaching her teenage years. While we are hopeful that so many years on, Belle will continue to remain cancer-free, our work is far from over.

Belle’s dad says the following:

“Even if chemotherapy had destroyed the tumour, there could have been cancer cells lingering elsewhere. We were told that immunotherapy would run round Belle’s body and catch and destroy any of these escapee cancer cells.”

With your continued support we can carry on this vital research and help care for even more children like Belle.

Cancer wasn’t expecting the brightest minds under one roof

We need your help to keep bringing in the best and the brightest talent from around the world to our Centre for Cancer Immunology. Your gift will help support future research by delivering key programmes like:

1. The UK’s first integrated PhD in Cancer Immunology

There’s a shortage of senior immunologists working in cancer research and despite this great need, there has not been a dedicated programme to train the next generation of cancer immunologists until now.

Our integrated PhD in Cancer Immunology will be the first in the UK to tackle a disease that cruelly affects so many people. Your gift would support the brilliant research staff of the future, and ensure cancer immunology research is advanced at pace.

2. The Innovation Residency Programme

Some of the most important breakthroughs in science are made when different research disciplines work together. That’s why we’ve created an Innovation Residency Programme that brings together talent from across the University in a dedicated space in our Centre.

Collaboration between researchers from fields as diverse as chemistry and computer science brings new expertise, ideas and resources to the challenge of beating cancer.

Your gift will enable a rolling programme of temporary residences to work alongside our world-leading team of immunologists, so we can deliver more cures to patients, faster.

3. Key research positions in Cancer Immunology

We’re recruiting a broad range of vital positions to create a 200-strong team, bringing together different research bases across the University.

To accelerate this progress, we need to attract individuals with the brightest minds and deepest experience who will allow us to add to our existing world-class team and increase our research knowledge and capacity.

We need to build a diverse team, with roles ranging from clinical immunologists to bio-informaticians, reflecting the evolving landscape of research. Your gift to the Fund enables us to get the best people to Southampton for the benefit of patients world-wide.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team in more detail about this programme, please email

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