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Pioneering cancer expert appointed chief scientist of Cancer Research UK

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by Cancer Research UK | News

5 April 2007

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Cancer Research UK has appointed world-leading cancer researcher Professor Sir David Lane FRS as its first Chief Scientist.

Professor Lane, one of the world’s ‘superstars of biomedicine’, discovered the p53 protein which plays a central role in preventing cancer.

In half of all cancers, including breast, bowel, lung, prostate and skin, the protein is damaged or inactivated.

Scientists are currently researching ways to repair or reactivate p53 in the tumours of patients.

Professor Lane’s work has been funded by Cancer Research UK for over 30 years.

He will join the charity on a part-time basis, enabling him to continue his existing appointments as well as research responsibilities, in both the UK and Singapore.

He currently leads Singapore’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) as well as the Experimental Therapeutics Centre, which are both part of the country’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). A*STAR today announced that he will also chair its Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) with effect from 1 July 2007.

In addition, Professor Lane is Director of the Cancer Research UK Cell Transformation Research Group and Professor of Oncology at the University of Dundee in Scotland, where his group is discovering new ways to control p53.

Professor Lane said: “Cancer is a global problem requiring a global effort to research the causes of the disease and find new ways to prevent and treat it.

“This exciting new role at Cancer Research UK offers a unique opportunity to help shape the future of cancer science. The charity is now a major international organisation that can have a world leading role in the fight against cancer.

“In addition, collaboration between the UK and Singapore will bring enormous benefits to both countries’ translational research programmes.”

Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re delighted to appoint David as our Chief Scientist following his long association with the charity.

“His experience and expertise will make a significant contribution to Cancer Research UK’s scientific strategy.

“He will help shape the vision for our scientific work over the next ten to twenty years and provide leadership to the cancer research community across the UK.”

Professor Lane will formally take up the new post of Chief Scientist at Cancer Research UK in January 2008 but will be spending time with the charity throughout 2007. He will be a member of both the charity’s Executive and Scientific Executive Boards.


For more information, a photograph or to request an interview with Professor Lane, please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 7061 8300.