Winner of 2022 NCUK Research Grant named at UKINETS 20th National Conference

Huge congratulations to Dr Garan Jones from the University of Exeter, who has been awarded this year’s £30,000 grant for research into ‘Alternate splicing and the pathology of Small Intestine Neuroendocrine Tumours (SI-NET).

Our research project is titled “Determining the role of alternate splicing in the development of Small Intestine Neuroendocrine tumours (SI-NET)”.

 Alternative splicing is the process whereby parts of the same gene are joined into different combinations, which leads to related but different protein structures. This has been shown to have a role in the development of other cancers and this grant will support us to investigate whether this occurs in small intestinal neuroendocrine tumour development.

We will do this by reading the sequence from the intermediate step between the gene and the produced protein, the messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA), which will highlight the altered forms of this molecule leading to the production of misfolded forms of proteins, and in turn the development of cancer.

We will use a cutting-edge novel sequencing technology, Oxford Nanopore long read sequencing, which will allow greater resolution for identifying different forms of mRNA expressed in small intestinal neuroendocrine tumours. This is the first time this technology has been utilised in neuroendocrine cancer development. We are looking forward to working with our international collaborators who bring expertise in alternative splicing in cancer.


The grant has been generously supplied by Neuroendocrine Cancer UK. Pictured here from left to right: Dr Debashis Sarker, Chair UKINETS Research Committee; Dr Garan Jones; Catherine Bouvier, Co-founder and CEO of NCUK