Founding scientist’s shock at Christie fire
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.
Allan Jordan outside The Christie, where he is head of chemistry at the Drug Discovery Unit