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World Cup of Research: England vs Belgium

The group stages of the 2018 World Cup are nearly over in Russia, but there’s still some great games to be played, including England taking on Belgium to claim bragging rights for finishing top of Group G.

England have already exceeded all expectations this tournament by actually winning both of their group stage games – a feat they have only managed before in 1982 and 2006. There’s also talk of the “Hurri-Kane” storming his way to the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top goal scorer after netting a hat-trick against Panama and taking his current goal tally to five in two games.

Belgium are a favourite at this World Cup with a squad packed full of class and quality. They’ve already shown their strength, flying past their first two opponents with relative ease and scoring 8 goals in the process.

But who will emerge as group leaders in this clash of the titans? And speaking of leaders, we have some of our own to field from our squad of world-class research talent…

ENGLAND

PROFESSOR JESUS GIL

Professor Gil, based at Imperial College London, is trying to put cancer cells to sleep. This process can help keep cancerous cells at bay so by understanding more of the nitty gritty biology that controls this process means that they might be able to identify new ways to target cancer cells with cleverly designed drugs.

BELGIUM

DR BENJAMIN BECK

Dr Beck and his team are based at Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, where they are tracking down the very first cells that go on to cause oesophageal cancer. Using state-of-the-art techniques they are “tracing” cells of the oesophagus over time as they become cancerous to learn more about the how and why it occurs. “Understanding exactly how oesophageal cancer starts is the cornerstone of developing new therapeutic strategies to beat the disease,” says Dr Beck.

Science Communications Manager

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