A world-leading cancer researcher has been appointed as the next Chief Scientist of Cancer Research UK. Professor Nic Jones, currently Director of Cancer Research UK’s Paterson Institute within the University of Manchester, takes up the role on 1 February 2011, succeeding Professor Sir David Lane.
Professor Jones will spend around half of his time on the Chief Scientist role. He will step down as the Paterson Institute’s Director and the process to recruit a new Director will be initiated early in the New Year. However, he will continue to lead his research group at the Paterson which studies how cells respond to sudden adverse changes in their surroundings, known as ‘environmental stress’. He will also continue in his role as Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, which brings together the key players in cancer research in the city and coordinates the research strategy across the basic to clinical research spectrum.
Professor Jones said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be joining Cancer Research UK as its Chief Scientist. My work has been funded by the charity for many years and I’ve seen at first hand the impact of its research as cancer survival rates have doubled over the last forty years.
“We understand cancer better now than ever before – and this knowledge is accelerating at an unprecedented rate as our research opens up new avenues that enable us to better diagnose, prevent and treat the disease. To be a part of that and help shape how Cancer Research UK get these new developments to patients is very exciting.”
Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “The treatments that will improve the survival prospects of cancer patients in 5, 10, or even 20 years time are being developed by our scientists now. We’re in the midst of a golden age of cancer research, with significant advances in outcomes for patients being made on an almost weekly basis. The technologies we now have available to us are yielding a deeper understanding of what drives cancer in individual patients and leading to improvements in almost every cancer type.
“But without the hard work of our scientists, like Professor Jones, these advances would simply not be possible. His extensive scientific experience will be incredibly valuable to the charity as we endeavour to translate the latest discoveries into the treatments of the future.”
Professor Sir David Lane, who is currently leading a pioneering research team in Singapore, will continue to advise the charity on its research strategy as an ongoing member of its Scientific Strategy Advisory Group.
For more information please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8300 or out-of-hours on 07050 264 059.
About Professor Nic Jones
Professor Jones obtained his BSc in Microbiology at University College London in 1971 before completing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 1974 focusing on the link between DNA replication and cell division. His first post-doctoral position took him to the United States and the University of Connecticut Medical School studying bacterial cell division, before moving to set up his own research laboratory in 1978 at Purdue University, Indiana, studying how DNA tumour viruses affect cell proliferation and growth, and key genes involved in viral-mediated transformation of normal cells to cancer cells.
He returned to the UK in 1985 to join the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London and joined the Paterson Institute in 1999 as Director and Group Leader of the Institute’s Cell Regulation Laboratory. Nic is also Director of the MCRC, established when the Institute became part of The University of Manchester in 2006, in collaboration with The Christie and Cancer Research UK.