We are thrilled to announce that Nick Turner – leader of the Molecular Oncology team at the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre – and Chris Lord – leader of the Gene Function team also at the Research Centre – have both been awarded professorship at the Institute of Cancer Research, London.
Professor Turner’s pioneering work is focused on identifying changes that occur in the DNA of breast cancer cells, and how we can develop drugs – or use existing ones – to target these changes.
To do this, he has been developing methods to analyse the DNA released by cancer cells into the blood. These so-called ‘liquid biopsies’ will allow doctors in the future to understand in great detail what is happening inside secondary breast tumours and make changes to treatments in response.
Professor Turner is also an oncologist at the nearby Royal Marsden Hospital, enabling him to develop and deliver research projects focused on improving the clinical management of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Now is very grateful for the generous support of the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Foundation towards Professor Nick Turner’s research.
We are also delighted to announce that Professor Chris Lord has been appointed as Deputy Director of the Breast Cancer Now Research Centre.
Prof Lord leads the Gene Function team at our Research Centre, which is aiming to identify genetic weaknesses in breast cancer cells which can be exploited with targeted treatments.
Recently, clinical trials have found that a PARP inhibitor called olaparib can delay the progression of BRCA-mutated secondary breast cancer by an additional three months, compared to standard chemotherapy treatment, and studies are ongoing to understand whether olaparib can benefit people with early breast cancer who carry BRCA faults.
Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“We are absolutely delighted for both Nick and Chris, and we’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on behalf of everyone at Breast Cancer Now – supporters, partners and staff.
“These appointments are very exciting news for the charity and represent truly well-deserved recognition of their tireless hard work and ground-breaking achievements.
“Nick and Chris’ teams’ ongoing work will be critical to our ambition that by 2050, everyone that develops breast cancer will live, and live well – and we are thrilled to have two of the brightest minds in their fields helping lead the way towards this vision at the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre.”