Bjorn Saven: why developing the infrastructure for early career researchers to thrive will bring about meaningful change

23 November 2021
Bjorn Saven card

A generous gift from industrialist and investor Bjorn Saven has helped to launch our Future Leaders Conference. 

In October, we launched our inaugural Future Leaders Conference, powered by a steering committee of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. The conference represented an opportunity for the early career researchers in our community to come together, share key learnings and focus on their professional development. You can read postdoc Elee Shimshoni's key takeaways from the event here

We're grateful that this event was made possible with support from industrialist and investor Bjorn Saven, thanks to his gift to the Cancer Research UK Future Leaders Programme. “It feels good to help launch an initiative that will convene some of the world’s brightest early career researchers, who can really help move the world forward,”  he says. 

Bjorn believes that by developing the infrastructure for people working in science, medicine and technology to thrive, we can bring about meaningful change. “When excellence has been achieved within their respective fields, researchers need to be able to come together to share their knowledge and findings, to try new approaches and develop.” To do that, he says, “You need the integrative mechanism of conferences and get-togethers like the Cancer Grand Challenges Future Leaders Conference, which I’m pleased to support.”

“It will be interesting to see how these early career researchers continue to ‘shake the tree’,” he says. 

In addition to our Future Leaders Conference, Bjorn's substantial donation will support two PhD students and a postdoc at the Francis Crick Institute in London. Cancer Research UK spoke with Bjorn about his motivations to support early career researchers - and why he changed his mind about the importance of cancer research.

Find out more in their interview, here