Our history


For 25 years, our world-leading researchers and clinicians at the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC) have been working tirelessly to stop brain tumours from shattering the lives of children and their families. 

Our history

CBTRC is established as part of the University's Golden Jubilee Development Campaign and is led by Professor David Walker​.

Receives funding for the Pathways Project (later known as The HeadSmart Campaign)​. 

Dr Beth Coyle joins the Centre as a Research Fellow focussing on a programme of work developing accurate tumour models in order to circumvent drug resistance and invasion/ metastasis in ependymomas and medulloblastomas and is promoted to an Associate Professor in 2005. 

Professor Richard Grundy appointed as Professor of Paediatric Neuro Oncology & Cancer Biology leading a Team of researchers including Dr Beth Coyle (Connie & Albert Taylor Trust Lecturer) & Post Doctoral Researcher Dr Ruman Rahman. 
Department of Health commits to supporting the Pathways Project​.
Low Grade Astrocytoma in Early Life international translational research workshop – hosted and sponsored by CTBRC and PLGA​.
CBTRC achieves it’s 100th research publication .
HeadSmart campaign launched in association with The Brain Tumour Charity.

Dr Ruman Rahman promoted to Asssistant Professor in Molecular Neuro-Oncology,having begun his research career with CBTRC in 2007. He leads teams researching drug delivery and the biology of brain tumours.

Dr Stuart Smith is appointed as Clinical Associate Professor in Neurosurgey, having undertaken his PhD with Professor Grundy. His programme of work examines the effects of microRNAs on angiogenesis and tumour growth

CBTRC hosted and sponsored a Europe-wide Optic Pathway Glioma workshop.
CBTRC hosted the annual BNOS Conference “Neuro Oncology across the ages”​.
CBTRC launches the UK arm of a major, new European Trial and research study, called Biomeca. Funded by CRUK and Children with Cancer, it comprises research groups in the UK, Germany, France and Italy. ​

CBTRC hosted an international Cerebellar Mutism Syndrome risk assessment consensus and validation workshop​.

The Sam White Legacy launches a successful fundraising campaign for a Mock mMRI Scanner, helping children with a range of conditions to overcome their anxiety and reduce need to use general anesthetic and overnight stays for routine scans. 

CBTRC launches the International Children’s Brian Tumour Drug Delivery Consortium​.

CBTRC exceeds £10m in research grant income. 

Honorary Associate, Consultant Paediatric Neuropsychologist Dr Sophie Thomas, Clinical Psychologist, wins major grant award to study the late effects of brain tumours. The first stand alone late effects study conducted with CBTRC.

Dr Timothy Ritzmann joins CBTRC as Clinical Lecturer in Paediatrics, with prestigious funding from NIHR, having begun his research career with CBTRC in 2014 at the start of his PhD.

CBTRC laboratory research moves into the new state of the art Biodiscovery Institute on University Park, collocating with all over cancer scientists at the University of Nottingham.

Dr Shaarna Shanmugavadivel awarded NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow award to quantify how long it takes all paediatric cancers to be diagnosed, and to devise tools to help reduce the interval between symptoms and diagnosis. This leads to a major childhood cancer study in partnership with CCLG.


Consultant Paediatric Neuro-Oncologist Dr Madhumita Dandapani joins CBTRC as Assistant Professor, following on from her Wellcome PhD Fellowship at the University of Dundee.

Dr Ruman Rahman awarded £1.3m from The Little Princess Trust for his Neurosurgically-applied chemotherapy for childhood neuronal brain cancers using a biodegradable paste.

£2.9million state of the art intra-operative MRI scanner was officially unveiled at the Queen’s Medical Centre, after a significant two-year tripartite fundraising campaign between Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, Nottingham Hospitals Charity and the University of Nottingham.


Nottingham University Hospitals Trust is one of only 10 hospitals to be awarded “Tessa Jowell Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence” status. The status was awarded in part owing to its strong connection with CBTRC and other University research links.

CRUK agrees to extend the recruitment onto the SIOP Ependymoma Clinical Trial to 2026.