Dr Anna Campbell's research into exercise and cancer survivorship celebrated for transformational impact on individuals

Date posted

6 December 2018


An Edinburgh Napier academic’s research into exercise and cancer survivorship has today been named as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs for itsDr Anna Campbell significant impact on people’s everyday lives.

Dr Anna Campbell from the University’s School of Applied Science is honoured in the UK’s Best Breakthroughs list for her pioneering work.

Dr Campbell’s research is focused on pragmatic interventions for cancer survivors and for over 16 years has studied the physical and psychological benefits of staying active after a cancer diagnosis.

She has put her research into practice, making two exercise DVDs for those affected by cancer, alongside setting up the first free community-based exercise programme in the UK – the basis of which became Macmillan Cancer Care’s MoveMore programme.

Anna is also director of CanRehab, which provides training and education for fitness and health professionals working with those affected by cancer in the community. She was recently awarded an MBE in recognition of her work.

What is the UK’s Best Breakthrough list all about?

The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives, including the creation of the internet, work tackling plastic pollution, ultrasound scans to check the health of unborn babies and the establishment of the Living Wage.

The list also highlights the less celebrated breakthroughs that transform lives, including a specially-designed bra to help women undergoing radiotherapy; a toilet that flushes human waste without the need for water; the development of a new scrum technique to make rugby safer; a sports initiative that aims to use football to resolve conflict in divided communities; - and even work to protect the quality of the chocolate we eat.

The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

It follows independent research undertaken by Britain Thinks which found that the public has little understanding of the benefits of universities beyond undergraduate teaching. The findings show that research is one of the key triggers to change opinion about universities but for many people, it is an abstract concept.

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at Edinburgh Napier, said: “I am delighted that Edinburgh Napier is featured in the UK’s Best Breakthrough list. We’re proud of the work of our academics and in particular the difference their work is making to people’s lives and to communities. Anna’s work is a great example of this. 

“The MadeAtUni campaign is important for the University as it allows students, alumni, the local community and the wider population to understand the work that we do and the impact it has.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, said: “Universities really do transform lives. The technology we use every day, the medicines that save lives, the teachers who inspire – all come from UK universities and the important work being done by academics.

“The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.”

The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list: 100+ Ways Universities Have Improved Everyday Life was put together in partnership with universities across the UK. As part of the MadeAtUni campaign, every university in the country was invited to nominate the one thing from their institution which they believe has had the biggest impact on people, lives or communities. Over 100 universities submitted a nomination. The entries cover health, technology, environment, family, community, and culture and sport.

You can find out more about the UK’s Best Breakthroughs and the MadeAtUni campaign here MadeAtUni.org.uk

Hear from Dr Anna Campbell below...