Memorable Moments of 2023

2023 has given us lots to celebrate at The University of Manchester. The year has been filled with exciting discoveries, memorable moments, and Manchester firsts.

Just a handful of these highlights are featured on our 2023 Christmas card. More details can be found below about each item featured.

Every highlight, including many which we weren’t able to fit onto the card, would not have been possible without the time, effort, and support given by the Manchester community of staff, students, alumni, and supporters. And we are so grateful to each and every one of them.

You can find out about the different ways our community support us here.

1. The opening of The Paterson Cancer Research Building

After the original Paterson building was damaged by a fire in 2017, we, along with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Research UK, embarked on the ‘Re-Write Cancer campaign’ to ensure that our researchers could continue their lifesaving work.

Thanks to the kindness of every person who chose to donate, Manchester’s world-leading new cancer research facility was completed in spring 2023.

The new building is twice the size of the original Paterson building and will bring together the largest concentration of scientists, doctors, and nurses in Europe to collaborate and accelerate progress for cancer patients in North West England and across the world.

2. Early detection research into Parkinson’s disease

Thanks to research conducted by Professor Perdita Barran and the unique abilities of Joy Milne – the ‘super-smeller’ – early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is more likely than ever before. 

Joy first learnt about her ability when she attended a Parkinson’s support group with her husband who was living with the disease.

While she was there, she realised that everyone had the same smell that her husband had developed 12 years earlier before she knew that this smell was actually Parkinson’s.

It’s this unique ability that caught the attention of Perdita Barran, Professor of Mass Spectrometry in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at The University of Manchester. Together, the pair worked to identify the particular molecules that give Parkinson’s its smell. Once identified, this breakthrough has led them to develop a non-invasive swab test that can, in conjunction with the onset of early Parkinson’s symptoms, identify Parkinson’s disease with around a 95% accuracy.

3. Fundraising through the Purple Wave

This year 523 students, staff, and alumni took part in the University’s ‘Purple Wave’.

Those who took part ran either a 10km or a marathon in The Great Manchester Run. These kind individuals raised a whopping total of £15,304!

4. The new Manchester Museum

After a major redevelopment Manchester Museum reopened its doors to thousands of visitors in February 2023.

Boasting 4.5 million objects, a stunning new exhibition hall, and galleries dedicated to different cultures across the world, it has reaffirmed its place as one of the University’s and Manchester’s most exciting cultural attractions.

Donor supported galleries include the South Asia Gallery, and the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery, supported by Dr Lee Kai Hung, a retired Hong Kong businessman and honorary graduate of The University of Manchester. 

5. Our supporter community

In 2023, Manchester alumni collectively gave 36,619 hours of their time to support student employability, student recruitment, and social responsibility initiatives.

And our community of donors have helped thousands of students and researchers achieve their amazing potential! 

Thank you to every single member of the Manchester community who has been a part of making 2023 incredible. We look forward to many more highlights and breakthroughs in 2024.

Whether you choose to volunteer your time, raise awareness, or donate, you too can be part of the Manchester community shaping the future.