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The Greek debt crisis – a tragedy for cancer research?

The Greek economy has dominated news desks around the world the past few weeks.  The future is looking a bit more secure with a bail out deal being negotiated but where does it leave the people of Greece and what does it mean for cancer research in the country?

We caught up with Greek grantholders Dr George Zachos from the University of Crete and Dr Vassiliki Kostourou from the Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Centre in Athens, Greece to find out what life is really like in Greece.

Dr Zachos told us “This is my third Worldwide Cancer Research grant and you have been the main driving force behind our lab and its success all these years. There are no regular calls for funding from the Greek state and some people who did receive state funding recently had it suspended halfway through their grant period because of the financial crisis. In other words, I would most definitely not have been able to work without Worldwide Cancer Research funding."  While Dr Kostourou added “The financial situation makes it difficult to implement long-term planning. This has an impact on people’s morale and dilutes our hopes for improvements in the near or mid-term future. Personally, I find a great comfort with my current funding from Worldwide Cancer Research because it allows me to carry on with my research, despite the frozen financial support from the Greek state over the last years. Therefore, I feel grateful to everyone that donates to Worldwide Cancer Research and support my research efforts and the young scientists that work in my team.” Read more here.