A team of six scientists from the University of Birmingham will swap their lab coats for running vests as they take on the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 16 October to raise money for the blood cancer charity Bloodwise.

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The researchers all work in the same laboratory on projects which are partly funded through Bloodwise. The laboratory is ran by Professors Conny Bonifer and Peter Cockerill and uses state of the art technology to study the relationship between the genetic background of leukaemia patients and their disease. Through a better understanding of what drives blood cancer, new treatments can be designed to increase survival rates and improve patients’ quality of life.

Dr Rosie Imperato, one of the runners, said: “The detailed research we carry out needs a lot of resources. We are always moved by the hard work that fundraisers put in to support our research and we wanted to get personally involved in fundraising to show our commitment to Bloodwise.

“The charity has not only been a longstanding supporter of research in our lab, but they also fund a lot of important research elsewhere, as well as directly supporting the people who need it the most – blood cancer patients.  We’ve had a great experience being part of the close-knit Bloodwise research community.  Fundraisers, volunteers and researchers all need to work together to maximise the impact we can have.”

The team is made up of Rosie Imperato, Sarah Bevington, Beth Gorman, Niall Gilding, Dan Coleman and Chris Middleton. 

Rose said: “All our colleagues have been very enthusiastic and keen to support the six of us on our little adventure, together with our supervisors, who were the first to sponsor us! We’ve all trained to the best of our abilities and we aim to give our best performance, no matter how long we take to finish. We are all looking forward to a well-deserved burger and pint afterwards!”

The University of Birmingham scientists will join 20,000 other runners at the Great Birmingham Run in the city centre. Actor George Rainsford, who plays Dr Ethan Hardy in Casualty, will also be running the race for Bloodwise.

Emma Jones, Fundraising Manager for the Midlands at Bloodwise, said: “Birmingham is home to world leading research in the field of blood cancer that is helping to transform the outlook for patients.  Every penny this dedicated team of researchers raise will help us in our mission to stop people from dying and make patients’ lives better.”