Professor Fran Balkwill
My research is focused on the links between cancer and inflammation, being especially interested in translating knowledge of cancer biology into new biological treatments for cancer and in the role that inflammatory cytokines play in cancer promotion.
My key areas of interest are:
- The Tumour Microenvironment
- Inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the tumour microenvironment
- 'Ovarian' cancer with a focus on high grade serous and clear cell subtypes
- Public engagement with biomedical science and science policy
I am Professor of Cancer Biology at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, where I lead the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation and the Cytokine and Cancer group within that Centre. I study the links between cancer and inflammation and research ways of translating this to clinical trial.
In 2006, I was made a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, being elected a member of its Council later in the same year. I am a frequent plenary and keynote speaker at international meetings, such as Gordon and Keystone conferences and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
I am also actively involved in communication of science to non-specialist audiences, especially young people. I have written thirteen science books for children on cell and molecular biology, with titles such as Enjoy Your Cells and The Egg and Sperm Race.
I am the Director of the Centre of the Cell, a £4 million biomedical science centre for children, educational website and outreach in Whitechapel. The website was launched in March 2007 and the physical Centre opened in September 2009. As of January 2012 there have been over 42,000 participants in Centre of the Cell activities.
I am a non-parliamentary board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, POST, Chair of Understanding Animal Research (UAR) and a member of the Royal Society Faraday Award Committee. I am on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and I was awarded an OBE in the 2008 Queen's Birthday Honours list.
|2013||Commission of the European Community||CANBUILD-Building a Human Tumour Microenvironment
|2013 - 2017||Cancer Research UK Programme Grant||Targeting the peritoneal tumour microenvironment of high grade serous ovarian cancer
|2011 - 2013||Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital||3-Year Studentship
|2011||Affitech Collaboration Grant||Validation of CCR4 Antibody
|2010||ArGEN -X BVBA Collaboration Grant||Investigation of Argen-x anti-human IL-6 antibody in vitro and in mouse xenograft models of ovarian cancer
|2009 - 2013||BBSRC Industrial CASE Studentship with AstraZeneca||Role of Chemokine CXCL12 in Cell-Cell and Cell-Matrix Interactions in Normal and Pathological Processes
|2009||Cancer Research UK||Chemokine CXCL12 for Cancer Therapy
|2009||University of Glasgow||Sub-contracted research
|2009||Medimmune Ltd. Collaboration Grant||Anti-human CXCR4 antibodies
|2009||Astrazeneca UK Limited Collaboration Grant||The Role of the Chemokine CXCL12 in cellcell and cellmatrix
|2008 - 2013||Cancer Research UK Programme Grant||Targeting Cancer-Related Inflammation
|2008||Cancer Research UK Project Grant||Targeting chemokine receptor CCR4r
|2008||Cancer Research UK Consumables Grant||£63,561|
|2008||Centocor Inc. Collaboration Grant||CCL2, CCR2 and Ovarian Cancer
- Archibald KM, Kulbe H, Kwong J, Chakravarty P, Temple J, Chaplin T, Flak MB, McNeish IA, Deen S, Brenton JD, Young BD, Balkwill FR. Sequential genetic change at the TP53 and chemokine receptor CXCR4 locus during transformation of human ovarian surface epithelium. Oncogene 2012. PMID: 22266861
- Kulbe H, Chakravarty P, Leinster DA, Charles KA, Kwong J, Thompson RG, Coward JI, Schioppa T, Robinson SC, Gallagher WM, Galletta L, Salako MA, Smyth JF, Hagemann T, Brennan DJ, Bowtell DD, Balkwill FR. A dynamic inflammatory cytokine network in the human ovarian cancer microenvironment. Cancer Res. 2011 Nov 7. 2011. PMID: 22065722
- Schioppa T, Moore R, Thompson R, Rosser E, Kulbe H, Nedospasov S, Mauri C, Coussens LM, Balkwill FR. B regulatory cells and the tumor-promoting actions of TNF-α during squamous carcinogenesis. PNAS U S A. 2011 PMID: 21670304
- Li NF, Kocher HM, Salako MA, Obermueller E, Sandle J, Balkwill FR. A novel function of colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor in hTERT immortalization of human epithelial cells. Oncogene 2009. PMID: 18997822
For additional publications, please click here.
Ms Paula Broome
|Ganga Gopinathan||PhD Student|
|Laura King||PhD Student|
|Zohra Gueroui||Medical Laboratory Assistant|
|Dr Chiara Berlato||Postdoctoral Research Assistant|
|Dr Hagen Kulbe||Postdoctoral Research Assistant|
|Dr Carla Milagre||Postdoctoral Research Assistant|
|Dr Anne Montfort||Postdoctoral Research Assistant|
|Richard Thompson||Research Technician|
|Jenny Cook||PhD Student|
|Juliana Candido||hPD Student|
|Nia Emami-Shahri||PhD Student|
|Dr Fiona McCarthy||Clinical research Fellow|
|Dr Cristina Ghirelli||Postdoctoral Research Assistant|
|Dr Eleni Maniati||Postdoctoral Research Assistant|
|Dr Raphael Zöllinger||Postdoctoral Research Assistant|
|Dr Thorsten Hagemann||Clinical Senior Lecturer|
B cell Differentiation
|Dr Melania Capasso||Lecturer|
- Centre of the Cell
- Barts and The London Charity
Cancer Research Committee
- Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Charterhouse Square Working Group (Chair)
- Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
Non-Parliamentary Board Member
- Royal Society
Michael Faraday Medal Award Committee
- Understanding Animal Research
Committee Member (Chair)
- Breakthrough Breast Cancer
Scientific Advisory Commitee Member
- Updates on the CANBUILD project can be found on the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation page
- April 2013: CRUK grant awarded to investigate the ovarian cancer microenvironment
- April 2013: Invited speaker at the AACR conference.
- January 2013: contribution to The Enemy Within, a film about cancer research.
- July 2012: interviewed by cancer survivor David Taylor.
- March 2012: Invited speaker at the AACR conference.
- November 2011: Centre of the Cell presentation at the NCRI conference.
- May 2011: Pharma partnership established to develop a new kidney cancer treatment
- May 2011: Keynote lecturer at the 13th International Meeting on TNF in Japan
- April 2011: Balkwill lab in collaborative agreement to help prove the potential of a new drug programme to treat cancer
- February 2011: Awarded the 19th Otto Herz Memorial Cancer Research Lectureship at Tel Aviv University, Israel