Professor Dean Fennell

Professor FennellChair of Thoracic Medical Oncology

Contact Details

  • Tel: 0116 252 5174
  • Email:
  • Office: Room 324, Level 3, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary LE2 7LX, and Laboratory 411, 4th Floor, Hodgkin Building.
  • Academic Secretary: Jenny McNair, email:, Tel: 0116 252 3170
  • Clinical Secretary: Nila Parmar, email:, Tel: 0116 258 6295


  • BSc (1st Class) in Pharmacology, University College London
  • MBBS, University College London
  • MRCP (London)
  • Ph.D. (London)
  • CCST specialist accreditation in Medical Oncology
  • FRCP

Research Interests

Professor Fennell's clinical specialisation is in thoracic medical oncology and early clinical trials, particularly mesothelioma, with a particular interest in therapeutic targeting of the core apoptosis pathways. Prof Fennell leads a Cancer Research UK funded group with a laboratory focusing on apoptosis, drug resistance, and signature-based therapeutics using the connectivity map for accelerated, targeted drug discovery. He is currently leading UK and international clinical trials of novel targeted therapies in Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma. 


  1. Jamal-Hanjani, M., et al., Tracking genomic cancer evolution for precision medicine: the lung TRACERx study. PLoS Biol, 2014. 12(7): p. e1001906.
  2. Richards, M.W., et al., Crystal structure of EML1 reveals the basis for Hsp90 dependence of oncogenic EML4-ALK by disruption of an atypical beta-propeller domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2014. 111(14): p. 5195-200.
  3. Majkut, J., et al., Differential affinity of FLIP and procaspase 8 for FADD's DED binding surfaces regulates DISC assembly. Nat Commun, 2014. 5: p. 3350.
  4. Yuen, H.F., et al., RanGTPase: a candidate for Myc-mediated cancer progression. J Natl Cancer Inst, 2013. 105(7): p. 475-88.
  5. Busacca, S., et al., BRCA1 is an essential mediator of vinorelbine-induced apoptosis in mesothelioma. J Pathol, 2012. 227(2): p. 200-8.
  6. Yuen, H.F., et al., Polyomavirus enhancer activator 3 protein promotes breast cancer metastatic progression through Snail-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition. J Pathol, 2011. 224(1): p. 78-89.
  7. Yuen, H.F., et al., Ran is a potential therapeutic target for cancer cells with molecular changes associated with activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and Ras/MEK/ERK pathways. Clin Cancer Res, 2012. 18(2): p. 380-91.
  8. Paul, I., et al., Acquired differential regulation of caspase-8 in cisplatin-resistant non-small-cell lung cancer. Cell Death Dis, 2012. 3: p. e449.
  9. van Meerbeeck, J.P., D.A. Fennell, and D.K. De Ruysscher, Small-cell lung cancer. Lancet, 2011. 378(9804): p. 1741-55.
  10. Paul, I., et al., PARP inhibition induces BAX/BAK-independent synthetic lethality of BRCA1-deficient non-small cell lung cancer. J Pathol, 2011. 224(4): p. 564-74.

To view all of Professor Fennell's publications, please use the link: PubMed Publication Listing

Supervision of Research Students

  • Dr Ed Law, PhD

Post Doctoral Scientists

  • Dr Sara Busacca
  • Dr Shona Elshaw

Academic Distinction and National Profile

To view Professor Fennell's academic distinctions and national profiles, please click on this link: Academic Distinction and National Profile

In The News

Professor Fennell has appeared in many newspaper/media articles.  To read the stories, please click on this link: News Articles.

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Contact Details

Department of Cancer Studies
Clinical Sciences Building
University of Leicester
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Leicester LE2 7LX

T: +44 (0) 116 252 3170

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