Claire Heron

Co-founder & Chief Operations Officer

Claire was the Project Manager for the MRC/EPSRC-funded Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node. Claire has been a professional project manager for over 20 years and brings diverse experience from a range of environments including NHS, Higher Education and Local Government. She specialises is the delivery of projects in complex and challenging environments.

Claire Heron 2022

A few words from Claire

Having worked with academic researchers, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and clinical trial organisations, I have seen first-hand the positive impact collaborative research can have in transforming people’s lives through the development of new medicines and treatments.

Behind the scenes, thousands of individuals are devoting their professional lives to reducing or eradicating diseases for the benefit of patients and their families and it is through this work that we will one day, hopefully overcome rare cancer.

In my role as the manager of a programme based in a molecular pathology lab within a busy NHS hospital trust, I have witnessed the huge challenges we face in making this aim a reality. The high-quality human samples needed to develop new treatments can be incredibly difficult to source, particularly for those with the rarest forms of cancer.

I have participated in meetings where the opportunity to undertake potentially ground-breaking research has had to be discounted due to a lack of available samples or where access to samples has had to be limited due to their value and scarcity. This is exceptionally difficult to reconcile when I have met patients and their loved ones within our communities who are willing to participate in clinical research if the opportunities exist.

I strongly believe we have to do everything in our power to support their engagement in research and to ensure our research community is in the best possible position to carry out their valuable work. By establishing RareCan, we are actually making this happen.

Videos featuring Claire