HALE scientist Prof Caroline Dive — Cancer Research UK’s lung cancer expert — has been recognised for her services to cancer research in the New Year honours list.

Professor Dive has been awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

She is deputy director and senior group leader at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, based at The University of Manchester, and co-leads the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence.

She is internationally renowned for her work in biomarker research, helping to uncover how cancer develops, grows and spreads, what treatment might be best and how tumours can become resistant to treatment.

Her pioneering research into circulating tumours cells and liquid biopsies, which can provide a snapshot of a patient’s disease from a blood sample, is transforming our understanding and treatment of lung cancer, a disease where survival rates remain stubbornly low.

Prof Dive said of the honour: "My husband phoned me and said I had a letter with ‘On Her Majesty’s Service’ on the envelope. I presumed it was a tax bill, but when he opened it and read it aloud I almost fell over with surprise.

"I think amazed is the best word to use. As well as incredibly delighted, not just for me but for the Institute.

"Even though it’s a personal award for services to cancer research, I think it reflects the multidisciplinary team work that we’ve built here in Manchester.

"Over the past decade we’ve worked really hard to pull scientists and clinicians together to get science into clinical trials to improve patient outcomes."

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “This is a fantastic and well-deserved honour for Caroline. Cancer Research UK is extremely proud to have supported Caroline for most of her research career.

“Her pursuit of answers to the questions that will transform the outlook for cancer patients is relentless. Her work is helping us to more precisely define which patients should get which treatments, and is showing great promise in being able to detect potentially lethal cancers earlier, when they have a greater chance of being treated successfully.

“Caroline is also helping train the next generation of doctors and researchers, offering hope for countless patients in the future.”