Cancer researchers talk about their pioneering work to discover and develop new drugs in a new video for schools and students designed to bring the UK’s GCSE curriculum on the creation of new treatments to life.
The video and an accompanying activity pack are part of a programme of work at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, aimed at encouraging a diverse range of young people to enter science.
The 10-minute video is fronted by two cancer researchers who talk through how the ICR identifies drug targets, creates prototype drugs, carries out preclinical testing and eventually takes new treatments into clinical trials.
The accompanying activity pack gives students the chance to assess the most promising prototype drugs based on chemical data, and to design their own clinical trial.
Supporting science learning
The ICR has designed the video and activity pack to support the GCSE science curriculum in the areas of ‘how medicines are made’, ‘clinical trials’, ‘cancer’ and ‘chemical analysis’, and covers drug discovery and development through from finding a drug target, to clinical trials and drug licencing.
It goes beyond the content of the curriculum, introducing new concepts involved in the creation of new treatments to enrich learning and facilitate a deeper understanding of the subject.
The video, which features researchers from the Division of Cancer Therapeutics and the Division of Clinical Studies and contains animations to help explain complex topics, was co-designed with ICR researchers and science teachers.
Inspiring cancer researchers of the future
The ICR is passionate about inspiring a diverse and inclusive next generation of cancer researchers, and equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue careers in science and research.
The new Creating Cancer Treatments resource is intended to help students learn about drug discovery and development as part of their GCSE course, as well as spark their interest in careers in science.
Selby De Klerk, former Scientific Officer in the Target Evaluation and Molecular Therapeutics team, said:
“Being part of this project was a brilliant opportunity to share our research with young people, which is something I’m passionate about.
“I hope that this resource will not only help students to learn about drug discovery and development, but that it will inspire them to explore careers in cancer research – perhaps some of the students who use the resource will be the drug discovery leaders of the future!”
Alysia Haughton-Nicholls, Subject Lead for Biology and Coordinator of Student Futures at Harris Academy Sutton, worked with the ICR to develop the video and resource pack. She said: “This video and resource will be hugely valuable to students – it will enrich their learning and give context to it, enabling them to link what they learn in the classroom to future career prospects. It has been a privilege to contribute to towards this project – being able to inform young people about the ICR’s amazing work and its impact has been enormously rewarding.”