Scientist donates proceeds of ovarian cancer drug to establish charitable fund

The Curtin PARP (Passionate About Realising your Potential) Fund at the Community Foundation was established with a generous gift of nearly £865,000 by Professor Nicola Curtin and aims to help individuals realise their potential in life.

 The Curtin PARP Fund at the Community Foundation will reopen in mid-January for the 2020 round, receiving applications at any point throughout the year. The Fund will support a range of activities to help people to develop the skills, talents and confidence to overcome barriers to employment or education. Priority will be given to carers, black and minority ethnic people, disabled people, homeless people and people who are experiencing disadvantage that prevents them from realising their potential.

 The Fund is named after the drug, which is classed as a PARP inhibitor, and works by exploiting a defect in the cancer cell’s ability to repair normal wear and tear to its DNA. This defect is common in ovarian cancer and currently Rubraca® is approved for ovarian cancer. Research shows that the PARP inhibitor kills tumour cells without harming healthy cells, which is part of the ground-breaking research developed by scientists at Newcastle University, including Professor Nicola Curtin.

 It is estimated that around 1,350 people in England could benefit from this new ovarian cancer treatment. But this wasn’t enough for Professor Curtin, whose generosity will support individuals to develop skills and confidence to overcome barriers to employment or education.

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