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Sigourney Bell is a 2 year PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge; Ms Bell researches a rare paediatric brain tumour and is testing novel compounds to develop new therapies. 

Prior to starting her PhD research, Sigourney completed a BSc in Human Physiology with Industrial year with honours at the University of Leeds, achieving a 2.1. During her time at Leeds, she developed an interest in neuroscience after doing a voluntary lab placement. She went on to win the Jennifer Rowles Summer studentship to investigate novel therapies for neurodegenerative disorders affecting the spinal cord.

Currently, little is understood about the specific subtype she studies as most patients with such tumours are incurable. She aims to develop a new chemotherapy drug to treat these children to give them a greater chance of living a full, healthy and happy life.

Sigourney Bell is the co-founder of Black in Cancer, promoting Black excellence in research and medicine and educating the community about early diagnosis and advocacy. Sigourney is a first-generation academic and now well on her way in her PhD from the five-year journey since graduating from university.

Sigourney is a fellow ACRC member and Forbes 30 under 30 honouree.

Sigourney Bell PhD: Service


Sigourney Bell 2nd year PhD

The PT Show sits down with Doctor-in-waiting Sigourney Bell from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. The Spotlight conversation enables our global listeners to hear her life's journey to date. A fascinating listen of a young child's determination to assist society in the eradication of a life-terminating, rare form of paediatric brain tumour, called supratentorial ependymoma.  She then shares her experience of being a first generation academic, and her five-year journey from graduating at undergraduate to starting her PhD.

Sigourney Bell PhD: HTML Embed

Strengthening networks and highlighting Black Excellence in Cancer Research and Medicine.

Find out more about the organising committee and co-founders below.


When you hear the titles “cancer researcher” or “oncologist,” there is probably a distinct figure that comes to mind. Black in Cancer was formed so that you picture a diverse workforce fighting a common enemy when you hear those words again: cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, which makes it a big issue.

Read the article on the subject matter by clicking on the link below.


The African-Caribbean Research Collective (ACRC) formed organically in 2019 following the release of ‘The Broken Pipeline’ report  by Leading Routes. This report revealed that of the total 19,868 PhD funded studentships by the UKRI research councils over a three-year academic period between 2016-2019, only 30 were awarded to those from a Black Caribbean background.

Sigourney Bell PhD: Testimonials
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