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Professor Greg Hannon appointed new Director of Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

Professor Greg Hannon, Senior Research Fellow at Trinity, has been appointed Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe.

Professor Hannon is internationally recognised for his contributions cancer biology and has developed widely used tools for the manipulation of gene expression and selective genome sequencing approaches that are now being used to inform personalized medicine.

Last year he won a £20 million Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge Award. He and his team are creating a 3D tumour that shows each different cell type and can be studied via virtual reality. The technology will allow multiple doctors and scientists to look at a tumour at the same time, working together to help diagnose and treat patients better.

Located at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute collaborates closely with the Addenbrookes, bringing benefits not only to the 6,000 cancer patients who pass through the hospital’s doors each year, but also to patients around the UK and worldwide.

The Institute’s landmark findings include the discovery of ten different types of breast cancer, which paves the way for new treatments; and for pioneering research into blood tests that could one day be used to understand the unique molecular profile of a person’s cancer.

Professor Hannon becomes Director on 1 February 2018, taking over from Professor Simon Tavaré, who has led the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute since 2013. Professor Hannon said:

I’m incredibly honoured to be given this opportunity. I have Simon’s substantial legacy to build upon and the large responsibility to lead what is unquestionably a world-class institute into its next decade. I’m eternally grateful to Simon for bringing me to the Institute and for providing an atmosphere in which our science can thrive. It will soon be my responsibility to maximize that environment for others by drawing on the wisdom and intellect of my colleagues.

Professor Greg Hannon joined the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute in 2014 as a Senior Group Leader and was elected a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College in 2016. He spent more than 20 years at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and chaired the cancer genetics program as part of the Lab’s NCI-designated Cancer Center.

Professor Patrick Maxwell, Regius Professor of Physic at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Trinity, said:

This is excellent news for the cancer community at Cambridge and indeed for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus as a whole. Greg has a strong track record of attracting significant funding and truly pushes the boundaries of cancer research, developing innovative new technologies to explore cancer from all angles – in the case of his new virtual reality work, quite literally!


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