Found­ing sci­en­tist’s shock at Christie fire

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - DA­MON WILKINSON

ASCIENTIST who helped found the drug dis­cov­ery unit at The Christie has de­scribed the dev­as­ta­tion of watch­ing his work go up in smoke.

Al­lan Jor­dan, who lives in Mac­cles­field, is head of chem­istry at the Drug Dis­cov­ery Unit at the Manch­ester hos­pi­tal, which he helped found eight years ago, and was at the hos­pi­tal in Manch­ester when fire broke out.

The fire started in The Pat­ter­son Build­ing, run by Can­cer Re­search UK, and staff in the re­search unit were evac­u­ated.

Years of re­search and life-sav­ing equip­ment worth mil­lions of pounds was lost in the blaze.

Dr Jor­dan said: “The whole team were work­ing in the lab when the fire alarm sounded at around 10.30am. We evac­u­ated the build­ing and it was only at that point, when we could see the smoke, that we re­alised this was not a drill – it was for real.

“It was only when we knew ev­ery­one was safe that it started to sink in. It was just a sense of shock and dis­be­lief, to see smoke com­ing out of that iconic build­ing. I can’t praise the fire ser­vice enough though – they got here so fast. They did and are con­tin­u­ing to do an amaz­ing job.”

Dr Jor­dan, 45, who did his PHD in Manch­ester and at The Christie, said that ‘to watch it go up in flames was dev­as­tat­ing’.

He added that they will have lost some of their work, but it is too early to say how much.

He said: “Thanks to the in­cred­i­bly quick ac­tions of the fire ser­vice we know there are a num­ber of crit­i­cal sam­ples that are safe, and that is only be­cause of them. It will slow us down, but un­til we can get in and assess the dam­age we won’t know by how much.”

The Mac­cles­field Ex­press is back­ing a cam- paign by its sis­ter pa­per, the Manch­ester Evening News, and Can­cer Re­search UK to raise money to re­build their in­sti­tute so it can carry on sav­ing lives here and across the world.

Dr Jor­dan said all the staff are ‘hum­bled and over­whelmed’ by the sup­port they have re­ceived.

He said: “It will help us get back on our feet – the fight­ing spirit has kicked back in. We know the work we do is vi­tal for so many peo­ple suf­fer­ing from can­cer across the north west, so it is im­per­a­tive that we get back up and run­ning.

“We will find places to work and to do our re­search, this will not keep us down for very long and we will re­build big­ger and bet­ter.”

To make a do­na­tion visit just­giv­ing. com/ cam­paigns/char­ity/can­cer­re­searchuk/cruk­manch­es­terin­sti­tute or text GIVE to 70200 to give £5.

Vin­cent Cole

Al­lan Jor­dan out­side The Christie, where he is head of chem­istry at the Drug Dis­cov­ery Unit

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.