Professor John Gribben

Centre: Centre for Haemato-Oncology
  • Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow 1987-89, UCL
  • Fogarty International Fellowship, 1989-1991, Harvard
Centre Lead, Centre for Haemato-Oncology
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QMUL Directory

Cancer Immunotherapy Group

The research interest of my group focuses on immunological approaches to the treatment of haematological cancers.

A moving story from one of my CLL patients, Deborah Simms:

Research Details

The research interest of my Cancer Immunotherapy Group focuses on immunological approaches to the treatment of haematological cancers. In particular, we are interested in understanding:

  • The molecular mechanisms whereby cancer cells induce changes in the host immune system
  • The use of allogeneic stem cell bone marrow transplant to induce a graft versus leukaemia effect
  • Identification of the antigenic targets expressed by cancer cells
  • Use of agents that will make tumour cells more susceptible to immune cell mediated killing, without impacting on the host immune system


I hold the Gordon Hamilton Fairley Chair of Medical Oncology at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary, University of London. My doctoral studies were performed at University College London as the recipient of a Wellcome Trust Fellowship Award. I continued post-doctoral training with Professor Lee Nadler at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School.

In 1992, I was appointed to the Faculty at Harvard Medical School, where I remained as Associate Professor of Medicine and an Attending Physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital, until returning to London in 2005. I am a founding member of the CLL Research Consortium, Associate Editor of Blood and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science.

My primary research interests include the immunotherapy of cancer (including stem cell transplantation), the identification of B-cell-tumour antigens; and the detection and treatment of minimal residual disease in leukaemia and lymphoma.


DateFunding SourceTitle/Amount
2013 Barts And The London Charity BMOU Redevelopment Project
2013 Moores Cancer Center,University Of California Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Consortium
2012 Cancer Research UK ECMC Funding
2012 Barts Health NHS Trust £1,000,000
2012 Barts and The london Charity Improving the allogenic T cell response to tumour using lenalidomibe
2012 British Society For Haematology Improving the allogeneic T cell response to tumours
2012 Barts And The London Charity Role of immunotherapy using reduced intensity allogeneic stem cell transplants in patients with leukaemia & lymphoma
2012 Goldman Sachs International Clinical Research Fellows in Lymphoma funding
2012 Nucana Biomed Limited A phase I open label, dose-escalation study to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics and activity of Nuc-1031
2012 European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer A phase I study of the EORTC-LG and GIMEMA trial
2012 Celgene Corporation The mechanism of action of lenalidomide on malignant and immune cells in chronic
2011 Macmillan Cancer Support A Comparison of patient-reported late effects and consequences among patients treated for Hodgkin lymphoma as adults and children
2011 Barts And The London Charity Staff Support
2011 Barts And The London Charity Barts Cancer Institute Seminar Programme
2011 Barts And The london Charity Validation of NOX4 - Salary support
2011 Barts And The London Charity The impact of Haematological Cancers on the Immune Microenvironment
2011 Barts And The London Charity Integrated genomic and epigenetic studies in Mantle Cell Lymphoma
2010 Barts And The London Charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Samples-Employ Bioinformatics Specialist
2010 Immunomedics Inc Phase 2 study combining humanised anti-CD-20 (Veltuzumab), anti CD22 (epratuzumab) or both monocional antibodies with intensive chemotherapy in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
2009 Barts And The London Charity Clinical Research Fellowship
  Cancer Research UK Phase 2 study combining humanised anti-CD20 anti-CD22 or both monoclonal antibodies with intensive chemotherapy in adults with recurrent acture lymphoblastic leukaemia
2008 CLL Gobal Research Fondation CD3/CD28 in chronic lympocytic leukaemia
2008 University Of Nebraska Medical Center Molecular signatures in NHL


  • NIH Program Grant CLL Research Consortium 2012-2016
  • Baker Foundation Grant 2009-2017

Key Publications

Greaves P, Clear A, Coutinho R, Wilson A, Matthews J, Owen A, Shanyinde M, Lister TA, Calaminici M, Gribben JG. Expression of FOXP3, CD68 and CD20 at Diagnosis in the Microenvironment of Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma is Predictive of outcome. J Clin Oncol, 2013. PMID: 23045593

Gorgun G, Ramsay AG, Holderried TA, Zahrieh D, Le Dieu R, Liu F, Quackenbush J, Croce CM, Gribben JG. E(mu)-TCL1 mice represent a model for immunotherapeutic reversal of chronic lymphocytic leukemia-induced T-cell dysfunction. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2009. PMID: 19332800

Ramsay AG, Johnson AJ, Lee AM, Gorgün G, Le Dieu R, Blum W, Byrd JC, Gribben JG. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia T cells show impaired immunological synapse formation that can be reversed with an immunomodulating drug. J Clin Invest, 2008. PMID: 18551193

Proto-Siqueira R, Panepucci RA, Careta FP, Lee A, Clear A, Morris K, Owen C, Rizzatti EG, Silva WA, Jr., Falcao RP, Zago MA, Gribben JG. SAGE analysis demonstrates increased expression of TOSO contributing to Fas-mediated resistance in CLL. Blood, 2008. PMID: 18434611

Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here.


The research interest of my group focuses on immunological approaches to the treatment of haematological cancers.

A moving story from one of my CLL patients, Deborah Simms:

External Activities

  • EHA Governing Board, 2015-
  • MHRA Haematology Oncology Expert Advisory Panel, 2010-
  • MRC Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board (MCMB), 2007-2012
  • CRUK Clinical Trials Advisory Committee (CTAAC), 2008-2012
  • British Society for Bone Marrow Transplantation Executive Board, 2009-2013
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation Director at Barts, 2004-
  • CRUK Feasibility Study Committee (FSC) 2007-8
  • Leukemia Lymphoma Research Fund Clinical Trials Advisory Panel (CTAP) 2007-2102
  • International Workshop on non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (iwNHL) Executive Board, 2002-
  • International Workshop on Hodgkin Lymphoma – Programme Committee, 2007-2012
  • NIH – NCI Initial Review Group Subcommittee D 2002-2005
  • Cancer and Leukemia Group B, Correlative Science Committee 2002-2006
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology, Patient communication subcommittee 2002-2004

Editorial Activities

  • Associate Editor, Blood, 2008-


  • May 2017: Awarded Binet-Rai Medal for outstanding contribution to CLL research 
  • March 2017: Co-organiser of the Follicular Lymphoma: the next 10 years meeting
  • September 2016: Speaker at Oslo Cancer
  • June 2015: Speaker at EHA annual meeting and new Governing Board member
  • November 2013: Invited speaker at the ASH conference
  • October 2013: Attended the International Workshop on non Hodgkin's Lymphoma and moderated discussions (filmed by ecancertv)
  • August 2013: Continuation of the Baker Fellowship announced
  • August 2013: our study on bone marrow failure in AML featured by Science Daily and CRUK
  • August 2013: Invited speaker at the International Workshop on CLL
  • May 2013: Invited faculty at the 12th International Conference on Malignant Melanoma
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