A tribute to Professor Gordon McVie

Gordon McVie

Professor Gordon McVie was a beings in cancer experiment. His work spanned decades, traversed continents, and enveloped everything from cancer prevention to cancer research. He will be remembered by countless for his fascination, his confidence and for never being afraid to call someone out- from industry executives to Prime Ministers.

Almost 20 years since Cancer Research UK was founded, simply a handful of staff who worked with McVie remain, but many will retain him as those individuals who sacrificed the charity its beginning.

A key figure in cancer treatment and research

Born in Glasgow in 1945, McVie went on to study Medicine and Pathology at Edinburgh University. He stayed in Edinburgh after his studies, becoming a lecturer, before becoming involved with the Cancer Research Campaign in 1976. He cooperate closely with their cancer contingent in Glasgow, and the benevolence funded his study, alongside the Medical Research Council.

After what became a 9-year sabbatical at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, McVie moved to Cancer Research Campaign in 1989 as the technical director then director general.

McVie spent over 12 times at the kindnes. During this time at Cancer Research Campaign, he administered many significant research proliferations, including brand-new remedies such as including carboplatin and abiraterone from the lab to clinical inquiries, clearing key discoveries that led to the development of PARP inhibitors, and showing that HPV infection is the main cause of cervical cancer, something that had sharply changed our coming to preventing this type of cancer. He was also one of the inventors of the Cancer Trials Network, which connected cancer centres across the country to help improve access to early-stage clinical trials.

He was a key figure in British cancer research and globally.

– Iain Foulkes, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of research and innovation.

McVie is well known as a key figure in cancer treatment and research. But perhaps less well retained is the major contribution he made to cancer prevention and, in particular, tobacco restrict. Jean King, who worked with McVie on tobacco at both Cancer Research Campaign and Cancer Research UK, remembers how he recognised the capability of the media, and was not afraid to issue contentious affirmations to raise the profile of important public health problems, such as the force enjoyed by the tobacco industry in the 90 s. He was not afraid of controversy.

“Gordon fought the good fight that has led us to where we are today- firmly aware that the tobacco manufacture “havent been” neighbourhood in public health ,” says King.

He preceded the donation into a merger with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in 2002 to create the largest cancer research charity in Europe- Cancer Research UK. He jointly contributed the brand-new organisation with Professor Sir Paul Nurse, continuing to support drug development and technical start ups.

Gordon was charming, he roared and smiled a lot, and had the ability to speak in a language those who had been touched by cancer responded to. He was a good peer and managed to get the charities to work together.

– Professor Sir Paul Nurse

McVie left the charity in 2002, but it was by no means the end. In 2003, he becomes a major consultant at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, responsible for science policy amongst other things. McVie remained a staunch advocate for cancer patients, and cancer avoidance in the UK, announcing out the government’s delay in implementing a ban on tobacco advertising. In 2007, he set up the online scaffold eCancer with Professor Umberto Veronesi, to help promote the standard of care for beings with cancer various regions of the world through education.

Forty times in cancer clinical research and people still dying in their thousands. I’d like a better obituary than that so I’m still following my curiosity genotype, arranging matrimonies between laboratory and clinical scientists, and communicating globally online as founding journalist of ecancer.org.- Gordon McVie, LinkedIn

A certainly brilliant man

The tributes paid to McVie speak for themselves. He’s been described as an “internationally renowned leader, “a certainly splendid man” and “a man of cast iron integrity”. Colleague have spoken of his willingness to help others and his determination to tackle prejudices in be made available to cancer treatments across the globe.

Iain Foulkes, our executive director of research and innovation said McVie was a centre figure in the story of Cancer Research UK. “He was a colorful character who had an extraordinary ability to communicate with cancer scientists, clinicians, donors and members of the public and inspire belief in the dominance of science to combat this disease.”

King said that as a boss, McVie was a hard taskmaster, but he was also considerate and attending. “My recollection of Gordon’s care for his personnel was receiving, at my parents’ house up North, a hand-written letter of condolence when my father died.” King remembers he always took the time to help family or friends of staff who had cancer to receive a second opinion where helpful.

McVie dedicated his job to clinical and cancer experiment- a profession that covered 40 years and led to over 350 research papers and 5 volumes. He died aged 76 after a short illness.


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