St Andrews charity rebranded to reflect global role

AICR namechange to Worldwide Cancer Research. May 2014
AICR namechange to Worldwide Cancer Research. May 2014

The St Andrews-based AICR (Association for International Cancer Research) is getting a new name and branding to make its aims clearer to the public.

From next week, it will be known as Worldwide Cancer Research and the wife of the late University of St Andrews scientist who helped found the charity said her husband would have been proud of the new development.

In 1979, the late Dr Colin Thomson, who was a reader in theoretical chemistry at the university at the time, helped set up the charity as the sister UK organisation of an existing American organisation called the National Federation for Cancer Research, and in 1984 took on the mantle of running what had become AICR.

In those early days the charity was run out of Colin’s front room, with the whole Thomson family involved.

His wife, Maureen, who still lives in St Andrews and is still involved as a board member, said: “Changing the name of the charity was not a step the board took lightly.

“We have a strong reputation amongst the science community and we have funded important ground-breaking research.

“However, we also acknowledged that to fund more innovative research that could one day change the way doctors diagnose and treat cancer, we also needed to build our reputation and awareness amongst the general public.

“Our funding is reliant on the public’s generosity and we need them to recognise our work and the role we play in cancer research.

“Our name change and new visual identity are hopefully going to be a key part in getting across our unique position in funding cancer research all over the world.

“It’s a new era in the charity’s 35 year history and I’m sure my late husband would be proud of what we have achieved to date and what I know we can go on to achieve in the future.

While the charity now has a presence in Edinburgh and London, its headquarters are still in Madras House in South Street, where it has a staff of

Last year it awarded almost £9 million in grants across 14 different countries for research looking at cancers such as lung, pancreatic, prostate and breast, as well as general research that may be relevant to all cancer types.

The new name and identity are part of a programme of activity designed to raise the profile of the charity and attract more supporters, including the corporate world.

Chief executive Norman Barrett said they were grateful for all they support they currently had more people were needed to get behind the charity’s worldwide fight against cancer.