Important roles for top cancer experts at University of Leicester's cancer research programme

Posted by pt91 at May 18, 2012 10:25 AM |
New appointments for leading cancer specialists

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 18 May 2012

Photographs of new appointments available from

The University of Leicester has invested in cutting edge cancer expertise through a series of new appointments to its cancer research programme.

A series of integral cancer research positions have been filled, reflecting the University's status as a major centre of cancer studies within the UK and the foremost centre in the East Midlands.

Professor Catrin Pritchard
Professor Catrin Pritchard.

Professor Catrin Pritchard has taken up the reins as head of the Cancer Theme, a multi-disciplinary research programme consisting of 52 academic staff across the Departments of Biochemistry, Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, Cell Physiology and Pharmacology, Chemistry and Genetics and also colleagues within the MRC Toxicology Unit and the NHS.

Professor Pritchard was previously a lecturer in the department of Biochemistry, having come to the University in 1995 after working at DNAX Research Institute, California.

She will coordinate the separate cancer research strands across the Cancer Theme with a view to achieving Cancer Research UK's (CRUK) Centre of Excellence status.

Professor Pritchard said: "I first started working in the field of cancer research in the 1980s because of the importance it has for patient benefit and the whole of human kind. There were some extraordinary new discoveries being made at the time which changed our way of thinking about cancer and this was highly motivational for me.

"I now feel cancer research has come full circle. It is a really fantastic time to be involved as we are developing treatments from the discoveries that were first made back in the ‘80s. Leicester could definitely be at the forefront of research, especially in the areas of targeted therapies and chemoprevention."

Professor Dean Fennell
Professor Dean Fennell.

Leading lung cancer oncologist and former CRUK clinical research fellow Professor Dean Fennell was recruited to spearhead the University's lung cancer initiative.

The post will see him work with the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine as well as the respiratory and lung cancer teams at Glenfield and the Commercial Trials Unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Professor Fennell has previously worked to improve treatments of lung cancer and mesothelioma through his laboratory studies at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at the Queen's University of Belfast.

Dr Richard Bayliss
Dr Richard Bayliss.

Joining him at Leicester for the first time is Dr Richard Bayliss, a molecular biologist who will lead a team of researchers investigating the structures of cell proteins in order to better understand the process of uncontrolled cell division, which causes tumours to grow.

Dr Bayliss, who previously worked as a Royal Society Research Fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, hopes the research will lead to the development of new drug treatments which will "turn off" the proteins in cells which cause cancer.

Professor Karen Brown
Professor Karen Brown.

Chemoprevention specialist Karen Brown has been promoted to Professor, with increased responsibilities in the Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group.

Professor Brown is Joint Principal Investigator of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, and works to find agents that can stop the onset of cancer and reduce the need for chemotherapy – particularly compounds found in the diet.



Professor Catrin Pritchard can be contacted at or on 0116 229 7061.

Professor Dean Fennell can be contacted at or on 0116 252 5527.

Professor Karen Brown can be contacted at or on 0116 223 1851.

Dr Richard Bayliss can be contacted at or on 0116 229 7100.

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