John is the Director of the Wales Cancer Research Centre and an academic clinician. His academic roles in the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Cardiff University include Professor of Oncology in the School of Medicine, and Lead for the College’s Cancer Research Theme. His clinical work is as Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff.
John’s clinical practice has predominantly been in bladder cancer, germ cell tumours and head/neck cancers, and he has specialist clinical research interests in trials for bladder and head/neck cancers, and in stratified medicine. His laboratory research interests include virus-mediated gene therapy and molecular biomarkers of response to cancer therapy.
Amongst his various other roles are: Lead for the Cardiff Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC); strategic lead for the Velindre Cancer Centre Phase I trials unit; and Deputy Director of the Wales Cancer Bank. He serves on Cancer Research UK’s New Agents Committee and the Advisory Board for its Centre for Drug Development. He also sits on the Management Board of Welsh National Research Network for Life Sciences.
Duncan is an academic human geneticist. The primary aim of his laboratory is to examine the role that telomere dysfunction plays in driving genomic instability, clonal evolution and tumour progression. He has worked on human telomeres since 1992, starting with PhD and postdoctoral training with Dr. Nicola Royle and Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester. During this time they studied telomeric variation and mutation within the human population and the evolution of telomeric sequences within the great ape species. In 1999 he moved to the University of Wales at Cardiff Medical School (later part of Cardiff University) to develop his own independent research group. He obtained independent fellowship funding, firstly from Research into Ageing and later a senior fellowship from Cancer Research UK. In addition he has also received funding from the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the Association for International Cancer Research, Cancer Research Wales and National Institute for Social Care and Health Research. Following the senior fellowship he became a member of staff at Cardiff University.
One of his lab’s key contributions to the telomere field has been the development of single telomere length analysis (STELA), a technique that determines telomere length from single DNA molecules from specific chromosome ends; this is the highest resolution approach for the estimation of telomere length and importantly detects the presence of short telomeres within the length ranges at which telomere dysfunction and fusion occurs. They have also developed the ability to detect and characterise telomere fusion events at the single molecule level. They have been using these tools to understand the mechanisms of telomere erosion, mutation and fusion, as well as undertaking translational work to examine the role of telomere dysfunction in tumour progression and to test the utility of telomere based prognostic markers.
Dr John Staffurth is a Reader in Oncology at the Institute of Cancer Genetics, Cardiff University and a Consultant Clinical Oncologist specialising in bladder and prostate cancer based at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, Wales.
His main research interests are technical radiotherapy for bladder and prostate cancer and the management of castrate refractory prostate cancer. He is a member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Prostate Clinical Studies Group and is member of the Executive Group of the national radiotherapy research group CTRad. These are involved in the design and delivery of trials in both prostate cancer and radiotherapy. He is leading a Movember-funded research programme in pelvic radiotherapy survivorship as part of their True NTH initiative.
He has been the lead local investigator for multiple trials in both bladder and prostate cancer, and recruits to many other trials led by his colleagues in Cardiff and Velindre. He also sits on the Trial Management Groups and Independent Data Monitoring Committees of several trials across the spectrum of prostate cancer, bladder cancer and radiotherapy research.
Sunil Dolwani is a Gastroenterologist and Cancer theme lead for the Division of Population Medicine in Cardiff University. He leads inter-disciplinary research into screening, prevention and early diagnosis of colorectal cancer. His research is supported by Cancer Research UK, Tenovus and Health and Care Research Wales. He was CI of the CONCOP study and the group has a programme of research through clinical trials applying new technology to cancer screening and integrating healthcare datasets with longitudinal population cohorts.
Prof Peter Barrett-Lee has the lead role for breast cancer academic clinical research at Velindre NHS Trust and at the Institute of Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University. The Velindre Cancer Centre based in North Cardiff provides specialist cancer services to 1.5 million people living in South East Wales. One of the 10 largest cancer centres in the UK, activity has increased significantly over the last few years. They now see over 5,000 new cancer referrals and around 50,000 outpatient appointments each year. The Cancer Division employs over 650 staff and has a budget of around £50 million.
In his own practice based at the Cancer Centre the breast cancer clinical trials recruitment figures have exceeded the targets set by the Wales Cancer Trials Network (WCTN) [Target: 10% of new patients entered; achieved & exceeded consistently since 2004]. On a national level he was lead breast oncologist for the SE Wales Network, and past member of the UK NCRI Breast Group (elected 2004), helping develop and present national guidelines for the monitoring and management of cardiac effects from the use of adjuvant trastuzumab (Herceptin) therapy. He was elected Chair of the UK Breast Cancer Intergroup (2009-12) charged by the NCRI with developing the next generation of clinical trials in the UK. He is a member and Secretary of the British Breast Group, a national multidisciplinary society running scientific meetings twice annually and whose membership includes many of the scientific and clinical leaders in the field. In 2012, he became Professor of Breast Cancer Studies (2 sessions) at Cardiff University.
He has also been Medical Director of Velindre NHS Trust since 2010, and therefore has responsibilities for both Divisions - Velindre Cancer Centre and The Welsh Blood Service including being the Responsible Officer. He has been married for 33 years to Lynne who is a published international novelist, and has three grown up children - Luke (Culinary arts graduate and Chef), Joe (F2 Doctor), and Georgia (Psychology BSc Graduate). In his spare time he plays football, goes mountain biking and crossfit training, walking and continues to try to master surfing on the fabulous Gower Peninsula.
Professor Julian Sampson has developed research infrastructure for genetic research in Wales and has led several successful international research consortia in the field of medical genetics. He has successfully translated the outcomes of his genetic research to diagnostic tests for inherited disorders that have been implemented in the NHS and internationally and to trials of targeted drug therapy for inherited disease.
His principal contributions include isolation of the genes for tuberous sclerosis and the discovery of a recessively inherited form of colorectal cancer with polyposis.
Malcolm Mason is Professor of Cancer Studies at Cardiff University. From 1997 until his retirement in 2016, he was the Cancer Research Wales Professor of Clinical Oncology, and has been a clinical researcher for over 30 years. He has played an integral role in some of the most important and practice-changing clinical trials in prostate cancer in the last few decades, including the MRC PR07 intergroup study (for which he was the UK Chief Investigator), the MRC STAMPEDE trial (for which he was one of the original design team and the study Vice-Chair), and the recent ProtecT study (for which he was the UK Radiotherapy lead). He was the Chairman of the NCRI Prostate Cancer Clinical Studies Group from 2009 until 2015, and has authored over 300 publications. He was the founder of the Wales Cancer Bank which was the UK’s first National biobank, and which is still seen as a model, both nationally and internationally. Since 2009 he has also been a member of the Core Group for the UICC’s TNM Cancer Staging programme, and he is the Chairman of their Evaluation Committee, which assesses proposals for the modification of the system. In his new role with Cardiff University, he continues to lead and develop the strategies for Cancer research, both in Wales, the UK, and internationally.
Anthony is lead of the Community theme of the Wales Cancer Research Centre. A Palliative Medicine physician in Cardiff, Anthony is also the Clinical Director of the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre at Cardiff University. His particular areas of research interest are all aspects of palliative rehabilitation, pragmatic study design and implementation, and patient experience. He was responsible for the development of the palliative and supportive care portfolio within the Wales Cancer Trials Unit as former Scientific Lead and Associate Director and is a member of the Palliative and Supportive Care subgroup of the NCRI Brain CSG. He is also research lead for Palliative Care at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board where his clinical practice is based.
Dr Awen Gallimore gained a DPhil in Professor Andrew McMichael's laboratory in Oxford, studying the anti-viral role of cytotoxic T cells in SIV infection, subsequently moving to Professor Rolf Zinkernagel's laboratory to study the correlates of anti-viral immunity. The recent focus of the Gallimore lab however has been on the regulation of anti-tumour immune responses. This has resulted in a body of work detailing the impact of regulatory T cells on tumour development in both mice and humans. The aim of the group therefore is to take basic research using models of cancer through to testing novel immunotherapies in cancer patients. Recent findings indicate that Tregs can direct specialized vascular differentiation in tumours resulting in T-cell recruitment and cancer rejection. These studies open doors for novel avenues of immunotherapy.