University's pioneering prostate cancer research boosted by 12,000th donation

Pioneering prostate cancer research at the University of Sheffield, which aims to improve early diagnosis rates, has been given a significant boost thanks to a milestone donation to the Development and Alumni Relations Office. Naomi Turner 2008

The momentous 12,000th donation was generously given by University of Sheffield Medicine graduate Dr Naomi Turner – in memory of her husband Dr Maxwell Turner, who died in 2002 after a nine-year battle with prostate cancer.

The University of Sheffield holds a special place in Dr Turner's heart. She became a student at the University in the 1940s after following in the footsteps of her father, Dr Carl Myers, who also studied medicine at Sheffield.

Maxwell Turner 2005"My father initially had a scholarship to study Classics at Balliol College, Oxford," said Dr Turner.

"However, when he returned home from the trenches of France after World War One he was adamant to study medicine. I believe he suffered quite badly with trench-foot which may have inspired him into the medical profession. He graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1923.

"When I joined the University in 1947 I was one of only 10 women studying medicine in Sheffield."

Dr Turner's daughter, Dr Deborah Grunwerg, went on to become the third generation of her family to study medicine at the University – graduating in 1978. Dr Grunwerg now lives and works in the city.

Dr Turner added: "With my father, my daughter and I all graduates – the University of Sheffield is a very special place for my family and me.

Dr Deborah Grunwerg 2011

"I am so pleased that the donation is going to have a direct impact on the University's prostate cancer research project – I was already aware of the project and I hope it helps to improve diagnosis of the disease. Knowing that my donation was the 12,000th is absolutely fantastic."

Dr Turner's contribution will directly assist patient-centred research being carried out by the University of Sheffield's Department of Oncology in collaboration with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) to improve the diagnosis of the disease.

The work, led by Dr James Catto and Dr Derek Rosario, aims to identify men with prostate cancer, from those whose initial test proved negative.

Dr Catto said: "I would like to thank Dr Turner for this generous gift. If successfully translated into patient care, this approach could dramatically simplify and improve the care of men with this disease."

Dr Carl and Ruth Myers 1955

The Development and Alumni Relations Office was formed in 2002 and has since received more than £30 million in charitable donations, gifts, and confirmed pledges from current and former staff, parents, friends, businesses and trusts. These donations are an increasingly important source of income, helping the institute to provide the best possible resources and support for students.

Miles Stevenson, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Sheffield, said: "This wonderful milestone shows that 12,000 individuals have made a decision to support the University of Sheffield, which is truly fantastic.

"In the last three years we have raised a massive £11.4 million. Because of this incredible total we received a prestigious award of recognition from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

"We are hugely grateful for each and every donation whatever the size because each single contribution makes a massive impact."

More information

Donations made to the University of Sheffield really can help make the difference, enabling investments in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and ground-breaking research.
If you are interested in making a donation to the University, please contact our Development and Alumni Relations Office on 0114 222 1073.

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