Students Staff

05 August 2009

Essex research project into early diagnosis of prostate cancer

Colchester Campus

The University of Essex and the Colchester Catalyst Charity have joined forces for a major research project into the early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

The ultimate goal of this project will be to translate the research findings into clinical practice and help save the lives of future prostate cancer patients in Essex and beyond.

The partnership involves the charity funding a three-year PhD studentship within the University-based Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute (EBSI).

After considering more than 90 applicants, the Colchester Catalyst Charity Doctoral Scholarship has been awarded to Yukti Gupta, who is completing her Masters in Molecular Medicine degree at the University.

Her role as doctoral student will be to develop techniques for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer and the monitoring of its treatment.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. More than 10,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year and 20,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. However, prostate cancer can be cured when treated in its early stages.

Although based at the University, Yukti will work in close collaboration with the Urology Department at Colchester General Hospital.

Director of the EBSI Dr Elena Klenova, who will oversee all the research, said: ‘This is a significant milestone for the EBSI and shows the important contribution local organisations can make to our research.

‘Yukti was chosen for her overall excellence in biological sciences and she is very excited about the new project.’

The Colchester Catalyst Charity is keen to fund research into prostate cancer as part of its ongoing mission to improve the health care of people living in north-east Essex. However, the project could have a global impact for the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Chris Kirvan, Chief Executive of the Colchester Catalyst Charity, said: ‘We are delighted to be working in such an exciting partnership with the University of Essex. This is an innovative way for us to achieve our aim of improving healthcare in north-east Essex. It is a special bonus that the research will eventually benefit those from an even wider geographical area.’


Note to Editors:

For further information, please call the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 873529 or email

For more information about the University of Essex-based Essex Biomedical Sciences Institute (EBSI) visit

Colchester Catalyst Charity became a grant making organisation in 1990, following the sale of the former Colchester Oaks Hospital. The charity resolved to devote its income from the invested funds to support individuals and the many caring organisations working for the ‘relief of the sick and suffering in north-east Essex’. Catalyst helps with the provision of special needs equipment, respite care, counselling and funding for special projects. Further information is available from Chris Kirvan, Chief Executive, tel 01206 752545 or mobile 07931642210.

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