Professor Paula Mendes from the School of Chemical Engineering has been awarded an IChemE Global Award for her work to develop a new test to detect prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men and claims over 10,000 lives in the UK every year, as a result early detection is critical. Using a synthetic detection platform on a gold sensor chip, the new test is designed to precisely distinguish between the different types of sugars attached to proteins in order to detect prostate cancer earlier and more effectively through a simple blood test.

Professor Mendes said ‘The Award recognises the hard work and dedication of a team of PhD students and Research Fellows. Their creativity and innovation will lead to real world impacts and I am proud to have led this project.

‘The highly prestigious IChemE award is providing us with an unmatched worldwide exposure that is expected to lead to new industrial partnerships and collaboration opportunities. The glycoprotein detection technology is highly adaptable and such an award has also the potential to open the door to new research projects and impact.’

The technology will be available to support laboratories within 3-4 years, with the final goal being a point-of-care device available to doctors’ surgeries, significantly reducing the lead time to detection and improving the patients’ chances of survival.