Sanger Institute researcher, Henry Lee-Six, wins Dr Falk Pharma/Guts UK essay prize

Medical student working in the Cancer Genome Project wins prize for colon cancer research

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Henry Lee-Six has won the Dr Falk Pharma/Guts UK essay prize
A medical student who undertook an MBPhD at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge has gained a top prize in the prestigious Dr Falk-Pharma/Guts UK charity national awards. Mr Henry Lee-Six won the  award for his project entitled ‘Mutational Landscape of Normal Colon’ which examined potential causes of the evolution of colon cells from normal to cancerous.

Mr Lee-Six, who is currently in his fifth year of medical training at Cambridge University, was awarded his £1,000 prize at a dinner on Tuesday 18th June at the British Society of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting in Glasgow.
The Dr Falk Pharma UK/Core Awards, now celebrating its thirteenth year, are dedicated to encouraging research and promoting patient care in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology.

“I was looking for a project that had the potential to make a real difference to patients’ lives while also revealing new and exciting biology. I wanted to try to understand how cancer happens through the lens of Darwinian evolution and this project has allowed me to do exactly that. We hope that future research will pinpoint the agents responsible for each of these mutational processes, allowing us to avoid them or develop drugs to protect us against them, and so prevent bowel cancer from occurring in the first place.

“The Dr Falk-Guts UK essay prize allows me to share our work with a wider audience. It recognises that all the late nights and weekends that our lab spend at the scientific coalface do mean something. I am proud for all of us who worked on this and for those whose work I have built upon, to have been awarded it.”

Henry Lee-Six Part of the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Sanger Institute

“These awards have supported numerous medical students, junior doctors, nurses and dietitians at crucial early stages in their careers. These are the most talented health professionals and leaders of tomorrow and support at this early stage helps to signal their potential to them and their peers and foster self-belief as the bright stars of tomorrow. The awards continue to be highly competitive and help to attract the brightest and the best to the field of UK gastroenterology. 

“Guts UK is delighted to continue its collaboration with Dr Falk Pharma UK, and the trustees of Guts UK greatly value Dr Falk’s clear vision and ongoing support of this valuable initiative.” 

Professor Chris Hawkey President of Guts UK Charity 

More information

Selected websites

  • Dr Falk Pharma UK

    Dr Falk Pharma UK has been supporting education and innovation in gastroenterology and hepatology across Europe for over 50 years. During this time, the company has organised more than 200 events including scientific congresses, symposia and workshops as well as presenting international awards and bursaries. Go to

  • Guts UK

    Guts UK is the only national charity that supports research into all conditions that affect the gut, liver and pancreas. Through strong connections with the British Society of Gastroenterology and membership of the Association of Medical Research Charities they are able to support a diverse portfolio of research work that is of the highest quality.

  • Wellcome Sanger Institute

    The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a world-leading genomics research centre. We undertake large-scale research that forms the foundations of knowledge in biology and medicine. We are open and collaborative; our data, results, tools and technologies are shared across the globe to advance science.

    Our ambition is vast – we take on projects that are not possible anywhere else. We use the power of genome sequencing to understand and harness the information in DNA. Funded by Wellcome, we have the freedom and support to push the boundaries of genomics. Our findings are used to improve health and to understand life on Earth.

    Find out more at or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and on our Blog.