Leaders appointed for new cancer research centre

Key appointments have been announced following the launch of a major new interdisciplinary research centre that aims to put Leeds at the forefront of global efforts to tackle cancer.

Professor John Ladbury and Professor David Sebag-Montefiore, who have been appointed to lead the new Leeds Cancer Research Centre

Professors David Sebag-Montefiore and John Ladbury stand outside the Great Hall. July 2020.

Leeds Cancer Research Centre (LCRC) is a partnership between the University and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. It will bring together outstanding scientists and clinicians across discipline boundaries to deliver world-leading cancer research that ultimately improves patient outcomes.  

It is yet another example of the excellent interdisciplinary research being undertaken at Leeds.

And two internationally acclaimed researchers have been appointed to lead the centre. 

The Clinical Director is Professor David Sebag-Montefiore, a clinical oncologist who has led trials that have revolutionised the treatment of anal and rectal cancers using radiotherapy. He directs the Leeds Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence for Radiotherapy Research, and was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal by the Royal College of Radiologists in 2019 in recognition of his outstanding international contribution to clinical oncology. 

Professor Sebag-Montefiore said: “I am passionate about bringing together the best minds from traditionally distinct disciplines to solve the big research questions that will improve the lives of cancer patients. This simple and powerful objective is at the heart of what the new research centre will do.

“We will create new opportunities for collaboration between the laboratory and clinic, and foster a vibrant interdisciplinary community that pushes the boundaries of cancer research.” 

The Scientific Director is Professor John Ladbury, whose ground-breaking research has shown how disruption to the signalling system within a cell can trigger cancer. He has worked at some of the world’s most prestigious cancer research institutions and was previously Executive Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at Leeds.

He said: “I am excited by the opportunity to bring researchers together at the biological, clinical and physical sciences interface, and harness new innovative approaches to accelerate and translate scientific discoveries to the clinic. 

“Through active research partnerships with the trust, leading institutions, industry and funders, Leeds will generate world-leading research that will shape better patient outcomes.” 

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds, said: “Cancer research is at the heart of the University’s strategy and we are fully committed to high standards in cancer care and the science that underpins it.  

“The LCRC provides an excellent platform to link the laboratory to the clinic, enabling convergence of our significant strengths in structural biology, clinical research, physical sciences and engineering to address one of medicine’s toughest challenges. 

“Professors David Sebag-Montefiore and John Ladbury are excellent appointments, with proven track records of internationally-renowned research and collaboration. Their combined leadership will ensure that Leeds is at the forefront of the international effort to fight cancer.”

Read the full story.

Posted in: