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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 01:52 GMT
Cancer scientist is made a knight
Bruce Ponder
Professor Ponder started his career in general medicine
A scientist leading a team researching inherited cancers has been made a knight in the New Year Honours.

Professor Bruce Ponder, 63, heads the University of Cambridge's department of oncology and works with Cancer Research UK and Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Sir Bruce, from King's Lynn in Norfolk, said his award for services to medicine was a tribute to the team at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.

He is now building a team at Cambridge of about 500 scientists and staff.

Professor Ponder started his career in general medicine but became interested in the science behind the treatment of disease, and in particular cancer, during the 1970s.

...we can test new treatments and see how effective they are and how they can be improved
Professor Sir Bruce Ponder

One of his achievements was in the field of breast cancer where he helped isolate two genetic elements that could be used to identify women in families that were at high risk of developing the condition.

He said the collaboration between the university, the hospital and the research centre was ideal.

"Our aim is to harness the scientific potential at Cambridge University and the knowledge of clinical practice at Addenbrooke's to develop new treatments.

"Half of our resources go into fundamental science applied to problems on a biological platform and about a quarter goes to developing new technologies especially imaging techniques.

"Our scientists can bridge across to the NHS teams where we can test new treatments and see how effective they are and how they can be improved."

Professor Ponder's main interest is in observing the ways that inherited cancers manifest themselves to find ways of preventing them from developing.

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