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About The Howat Foundation

The Howat Foundation was founded by Malcolm and Margaret Howat in 2009. We support translational research benefiting general cancer patients through the University of Glasgow, whose mission is to undertake world-leading research that benefits society. The support is provided by way of donations and direct funding of medical staff, purchase of equipment and contributions to capital projects, all with the purpose of furthering ground breaking advances.

The Howat Foundation supports The Paul O'Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre. The support focuses on the work of Professor Tessa Holyoake, Director of the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre. This includes the appointment of Dr Karen Keeshan in Paediatric Haematology and the appointment of Professor Andrew Biankin as Regius Chair of Surgery and Director of Translational Cancer Research at the University of Glasgow.

Through the Howat Foundation, Sir Alex Ferguson turned his attention to the fight against cancer when the former Manchester United manager unveiled a plaque commemorating the donation of £1 million towards the next phase of The Beatson Pebble Appeal. The donation was in addition to the previous support given by the Foundation to cancer research at the University of Glasgow.

Professor Jeff Evans, Director of the Institute of Cancer Sciences at the University of Glasgow, said: “We’re very grateful for this donation from the Howat Foundation; as a scientist there is nowhere in the world better to work on cancer research than Glasgow. The provision of up-to-date facilities and equipment is vital to attracting world-class cancer research scientists from all over the world and the second phase of the Beatson Pebble Appeal will continue to play a vital role in helping us.”

Sir Alex, who was also presented with an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow in recognition of his major contribution to sport said: “It is an honor to visit this new research facility that will help in the fight against cancer. I am delighted The Howat Foundation has kicked-off the next stage of fundraising with such a generous donation. For too long Glasgow has been the cancer capital of Europe, and like many people over the years I have seen family and friends afflicted by the disease. I hope that investment in research facilities like this will help us beat cancer and improve the health of the people of Glasgow, Scotland and beyond.”

Professor Anton Muscatelli stated: “The Howat Foundation have provided an extremely generous donation to launch the next phase of the Beatson Pebble Appeal. I am extremely grateful to Malcolm and Margaret Howat for this and previous gifts.”

The Malcolm & Margaret HowatChair in Clinical Oncology

In collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Churchill Hospital Cancer Centre, The Howat Foundation is pleased to announce their support of a very promising new clinical trial being run by Dr Geoff Higgins at the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre.


The trial will investigate the effects that a safe and widely available anti-malarial medicine (called atovaquone) has on tumour hypoxia. Hypoxic (oxygen starved) tumour cells behave more aggressively and are harder to treat effectively than ‘normal’ tumour cells.  However, in Oxford, researchers have shown that this anti-malarial drug eradicates tumour hypoxia and makes the tumours far more sensitive to radiotherapy treatment.

If the ATOM trial demonstrates that this medicine exerts the same effects in patients it may mean that this drug can be used in combination with radiotherapy to dramatically improve treatment for future cancer patients.


Following a successful project with the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology headed by Professor Geoff Higgins, in July 2022 the Foundation continued its support of clinical oncology with a donation of £3M and secured an additional £1.5M from the Oxford Endowment Fund.

The £4.5M endowment has been invested in the Oxford Endowment Fund with the returns being used to establish an endowed professorial post in Clinical Oncology called “The Malcolm & Margaret Howat Professorship of Clinical Oncology”. This will initially create a single-tenure Professorship which will continue in perpetuity with Professor Geoff Higgins being the first holder of this post.

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University of Glasgow People Funded

Chris Halsey Photo 2021.JPEG

Professor Chris Halsey

Professor Mhairi Copland.jpg

Professor Mhairi Copland

University of Glasgow Projects Funded

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