Children's Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence

Brain tumours remain the most common cause of cancer-related death in children. Limited progress in these diseases relates directly to the use of inaccurate preclinical pipelines that fail to identify drugs with activity in patients. Accurate preclinical pipelines are especially important for rare cancers, such as paediatric brain tumours, that have small patient populations available for study. Thus, curing children with brain tumours will require new approaches that leverage a deep understanding of tumour biology to design disease-specific therapies.

Forming curative treatments for children with brain tumours

In February 2018, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) launched the CRUK Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence (CRUK-CBTCE) to drive progress in paediatric brain cancer research. The CRUK CBTCE is hosted at the CRUK Cambridge Centre (CRUK CC) at the University of Cambridge and the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) London.

The Centre is co-directed by Professor Richard Gilbertson and Professor Paul Workman.


Professor Richard Gilbertson is the Director of the CRUK Cambridge Centre and Head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge. He is a clinician scientist specialising in paediatric neuro-oncology and a world-leader in the biology and treatment of paediatric brain tumours.

Professor Paul Workman was Chief Executive and President of the ICR from 2014 to 2021 and Director of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at the ICR from 1997 to 2016. He remains active in his personal research at ICR. Professor Workman is a world leader in cancer drug discovery, chemical biology and molecular pharmacology and has led numerous drug discovery and development teams in the academic and private sectors, yielding multiple clinical candidates for precision medicine.

The CRUK-CBTCE convenes a critical mass of expert personnel, infrastructure and global collaborations in paediatric brain tumour biology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and preclinical and clinical trials. The Centre fosters global reach and unites its members through an international community of aligned experts, the International Children’s Brain Tumour Board (ICBTB).


To forge an innovative four-stage pipeline that generates curative treatments for children with brain tumours.


To transform the way, the world develops treatments for children with brain tumours.


Centred on our biology, drug discovery and development pipeline, this will leverage the expertise of the brightest minds in the paediatric brain tumour field.


Direct collaboration with world leaders in paediatric brain tumour and drug development research communities.


University of Cambridge
Department of Oncology
University of Cambridge
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Scientific Programme Manager