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Congratulations to Professor Adrienne Flanagan

Congratulations from all of us at CHORDOMA UK to Professor Adrienne Flanagan (Professor of Musculoskeletal Pathology at UCL Cancer Institute and Consultant Histopathologist at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital) who was awarded an OBE for her services to cancer research on the 7th November 2017.

Professor Flanagan’s research focuses on identifying the genetic alterations involved in the development and progression of bone and soft tissue tumours and translating these findings into clinical practice. She is acknowledged as a global expert on Chordoma and identifying that brachyury expression is the hallmark of chordoma, a biomarker which is now employed universally in the diagnosis of this rare primary bone cancer. Professor Flanagan’s association and collaboration with Chordoma UK began in 2013 since when CUK has supported a number of her research initiatives including the appointment of the UK’s first Chordoma Bio-Bank coordinator. 

Adrienne received her medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and undertook her postgraduate pathology training in London. As a Medical Research Council Training Fellow she developed an interest in bone biology and was awarded her PhD from the University of London. Following a period of time at Imperial College London, she pursued this interest at UCL, and as a consultant histopathologist at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital she further focused her research on cancer. Adrienne was elected as Professor of Musculoskeletal Pathology in 2004 and the Head of the Research Department of Pathology at the UCL Cancer Institute in 2013.

Chief Executive of the RNOH,Rob Hurd said:

On behalf of the RNOH, I’d like to congratulate Professor Adrienne Flanagan on receiving this honour. Her contribution to developing a better understanding of bone and soft tissue tumours as well as non-neoplastic musculoskeletal disorders is immense. The vital research work that she and her colleagues undertake is helping improve the outcomes for patients every day – both here in the UK and globally. Through her role as Cancer Lead for the 100,000 Genome Project, Professor Flanagan will help position the UK as the first country in the world to sequence 100,000 whole human genomes, revolutionising the treatment of inherited diseases and cancers. The RNOH is immensely proud of our association with Prof Flanagan and we are honoured to work with her.

Speaking about the award, Professor Flanagan said:  “It’s a terrific honour - one which wouldn't be possible without knowledge and experience of the exceptional people I have had the privilege to work with, and the help and commitment of research organisations who have supported my research over the years”.


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There is little funding available for research into this relentless bone cancer mainly because it is relatively rare, occurring in only 1 in 800,000 of the population. Without a focused approach to raising money for research into chordoma, little will change quickly.

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