Pioneering Research Project Aims to Create Legacy for Monmouth Schoolboy

The first researcher funded by a scholarship set up in memory of a student at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools is now in post. Theo Morin, 25, is starting his scientific career after Cancer Research Wales funded his PhD studentship into acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) at Cardiff University.

Theo Morin, 25, the first recipient of The Tom Walker Cancer Research
Wales PhD Studentship for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Research.
Monmouth pupil Tom Walker who died aged 13 after being diagnosed
with AMD.


A brand-new research project, funded with hundreds of donations from the Monmouth area, aims to create a legacy for teenager Tom Walker, who sadly died in 2018, having been diagnosed with AMD, an aggressive type of blood cancer. The scholarship was made possible after the Monmouth community rallied to raise £100,000 in memory of Tom, a 13-year-old pupil at Monmouth School for Boys. His sisters, Holly and Emily, both pupils at Monmouth School for Girls, led the fund-raising efforts to build this legacy.

'My PhD is funded thanks to the Walker family who bravely raised money in memory of Tom,” said Mr Morin, who is French and has a Health Science masters’ degree from the University of Poitiers.“I am really looking forward to working on this project and to improve our knowledge in the field of AML therapy.”

The Tom Walker Cancer Research Wales PhD Studentship for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Research work is being done in the laboratory of Professor Andrew Sewell in Cardiff and will be overseen by Professor Oliver Ottmann, the Head of Haematology and the AML Research Unit at the University Hospital of Wales.
Dr Lee Campbell, Head of Research at Cancer Research Wales, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to award and launch the Tom Walker AML PhD scholarship during such challenging external circumstances, and proud of everyone who has contributed thus far. It is critically important that the commissioning and funding of high-quality cancer research continues in Wales since cancer has not paused for the coronavirus. The discoveries and insights made by Theo and the AML research team at Cardiff University will hopefully benefit people with cancer across the country.”
Professor Sewell said: “We are extremely grateful to the Walker family, Cancer Research Wales and the whole community in Monmouthshire for giving us this opportunity to create a lasting legacy for Tom through this research studentship. AML is an area of intense research as it represents a real unmet clinical need, and by carrying out this pioneering research we hope to provide important insights and make discoveries that will form the basis of future treatments for this disease."