Four students from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, will be hoping to answer their ‘Starter for 10’, as they spearhead the organisation’s first ever appearance on the BBC quiz programme University Challenge.
An episode showing the ICR – the UK’s top-rated research institution – taking on St George’s, University of London, in the first round will be aired this evening on BBC2 at 8pm.
The iconic BBC quiz show University Challenge, which is hosted by Jeremy Paxman, sees hundreds of teams from universities and colleges across the UK apply each year for their chance to be crowned the best academic quiz team in the UK.
As well as being a world-class research institute and a charity, the ICR is a higher education institution and a college of the University of London.
Since being founded more than a century ago, we have led the world in making game-changing discoveries that have revolutionised the way cancer is studied and treated – for instance in identifying cancer genes, discovering cancer drugs and developing precision radiotherapy.
We came top in the definitive league table of university research quality compiled from the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) and are the leading academic institution in the UK, in terms of the influence of our papers in biological sciences and clinical medicine on our peers.
Our University Challenge team, made up of clinical research fellows Dr Sabrina Talukdar and Dr Ravindhi Nathavitharana, and PhD students Joshua Meyers and Stuart Rankin, competed against more than 130 teams to make it through to the televised rounds as one of the final 28.
Team Captain Dr Talukdar said: “I’m really excited to appear on University Challenge and it’s such a privilege to be representing the ICR as Team Captain. I have always enjoyed testing myself against the questions at home, so I’m thrilled to get a chance to be on the show. This is the first time the ICR has entered a team on University Challenge, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s a great chance to show everyone the talent and ability of the students here at the ICR.”