21 Feb: 'DNA Damage in Cancer: both cause and cure!' - Professor George D. Jones

Posted by dmrbp1 at Dec 06, 2016 01:30 PM |
Part of the Inaugural Lecture Series

"DNA Damage in Cancer: both cause and cure!"
Professor Don Jones, Cancer Studies

This lecture was held on Tuesday 21 February 2017 at 5.30pm in LT1 and Atrium, Centre for Medicine.

Lecture Synopsis

Our DNA holds all the information necessary for cell and tissue function and the continual damage of DNA is the primary cause of cancer. Nevertheless, it is treatment-induced DNA damage resulting from both radiation and genotoxic drug exposure that underpins the success radiotherapy and many chemotherapeutic drug treatments used today. In this lecture Professor Jones illustrated how DNA damage can both cause and cure cancer and how amplifying treatment-induced DNA damage can lead to improved treatments for cancer.


Born, raised & educated in Worcestershire, Don entered the University of Leicester in 1979 to read ‘Chemistry with Biochemistry’. On graduating in 1982 he embarked upon an MSc by research in ‘Carbohydrate Chemistry’ at the University of Birmingham then returned to Leicester in 1984 to undertake a PhD studying ‘The Direct Effects of Ionising Radiation on DNA’ under the supervision of Professor Martyn Symonds and Dr (now Prof) Paul Cullis in the Department of Chemistry.

After graduating in 1987, Don undertook three post-doctoral positions; firstly with Prof Peter O’Neill at the then MRC Radiobiology Unit at Harwell, then secondly with Prof John Ward at the University of San Diego in California and then finally with Prof Michael Weinfeld at the Cross Cancer Institute at the University of Alberta in Canada.

In 1995, Don returned to the UK, indeed to Leicester, to take up a research fellowship and establish his own research group in the joint University-MRC ‘Centre for Mechanisms of Human Toxicity’. Following this, in 2000 Don was appointed Lecturer in the then Department of Oncology, being promoted to Senior lecturer in 2002, Reader in 2007 and finally to a Personal Chair in 2016.
Don has over 90 peer-reviewed manuscripts & articles accepted for publication in journals & books; he’s invited to speak at radiation research conferences all over the world (including recently in Hawaii – twice!), he’s been President of both the UK’s Association for Radiation Research and the European Radiation Research Society; he’s an Honorary member of the Royal College of Radiologists and is on the council of the International Association for Radiation Research.

Don leads the Radiation & Oxidative Stress group in the Dept. of Cancer Studies, he’s successfully supervised over 15 postgraduate research students (both PhD and MD) and is currently the lead convenor of the Departments MSc in ‘Molecular Pathology and Therapeutics of Cancer’.

Don’s research interests focus on mechanisms, measurement and consequences of radiation and drug-induced damage to DNA as a means of enhancing cancer treatment and this will be the theme of this Inaugural Lecture.




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Contact Details

College of Life Sciences
University of Leicester
Maurice Shock Building
University Road