John is the Director of the Wales Cancer Research Centre and an academic clinician. His academic roles in the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Cardiff University include Professor of Oncology in the School of Medicine, and Lead for the College’s Cancer Research Theme. His clinical work is as Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff.
John’s clinical practice has predominantly been in bladder cancer, germ cell tumours and head/neck cancers, and he has specialist clinical research interests in trials for bladder and head/neck cancers, and in stratified medicine. His laboratory research interests include virus-mediated gene therapy and molecular biomarkers of response to cancer therapy.
Amongst his various other roles are: Lead for the Cardiff Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC); strategic lead for the Velindre Cancer Centre Phase I trials unit; and Deputy Director of the Wales Cancer Bank. He serves on Cancer Research UK’s New Agents Committee and the Advisory Board for its Centre for Drug Development. He also sits on the Management Board of Welsh National Research Network for Life Sciences.
Prof Peter Barrett-Lee has the lead role for breast cancer academic clinical research at Velindre NHS Trust and at the Institute of Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University. The Velindre Cancer Centre based in North Cardiff provides specialist cancer services to 1.5 million people living in South East Wales. One of the 10 largest cancer centres in the UK, activity has increased significantly over the last few years. They now see over 5,000 new cancer referrals and around 50,000 outpatient appointments each year. The Cancer Division employs over 650 staff and has a budget of around £50 million.
In his own practice based at the Cancer Centre the breast cancer clinical trials recruitment figures have exceeded the targets set by the Wales Cancer Trials Network (WCTN) [Target: 10% of new patients entered; achieved & exceeded consistently since 2004]. On a national level he was lead breast oncologist for the SE Wales Network, and past member of the UK NCRI Breast Group (elected 2004), helping develop and present national guidelines for the monitoring and management of cardiac effects from the use of adjuvant trastuzumab (Herceptin) therapy. He was elected Chair of the UK Breast Cancer Intergroup (2009-12) charged by the NCRI with developing the next generation of clinical trials in the UK. He is a member and Secretary of the British Breast Group, a national multidisciplinary society running scientific meetings twice annually and whose membership includes many of the scientific and clinical leaders in the field. In 2012, he became Professor of Breast Cancer Studies (2 sessions) at Cardiff University.
He has also been Medical Director of Velindre NHS Trust since 2010, and therefore has responsibilities for both Divisions - Velindre Cancer Centre and The Welsh Blood Service including being the Responsible Officer. He has been married for 33 years to Lynne who is a published international novelist, and has three grown up children - Luke (Culinary arts graduate and Chef), Joe (F2 Doctor), and Georgia (Psychology BSc Graduate). In his spare time he plays football, goes mountain biking and crossfit training, walking and continues to try to master surfing on the fabulous Gower Peninsula.
Professor Julian Sampson has developed research infrastructure for genetic research in Wales and has led several successful international research consortia in the field of medical genetics. He has successfully translated the outcomes of his genetic research to diagnostic tests for inherited disorders that have been implemented in the NHS and internationally and to trials of targeted drug therapy for inherited disease.
His principal contributions include isolation of the genes for tuberous sclerosis and the discovery of a recessively inherited form of colorectal cancer with polyposis.
Malcolm Mason is Professor of Cancer Studies at Cardiff University. From 1997 until his retirement in 2016, he was the Cancer Research Wales Professor of Clinical Oncology, and has been a clinical researcher for over 30 years. He has played an integral role in some of the most important and practice-changing clinical trials in prostate cancer in the last few decades, including the MRC PR07 intergroup study (for which he was the UK Chief Investigator), the MRC STAMPEDE trial (for which he was one of the original design team and the study Vice-Chair), and the recent ProtecT study (for which he was the UK Radiotherapy lead). He was the Chairman of the NCRI Prostate Cancer Clinical Studies Group from 2009 until 2015, and has authored over 300 publications. He was the founder of the Wales Cancer Bank which was the UK’s first National biobank, and which is still seen as a model, both nationally and internationally. Since 2009 he has also been a member of the Core Group for the UICC’s TNM Cancer Staging programme, and he is the Chairman of their Evaluation Committee, which assesses proposals for the modification of the system. In his new role with Cardiff University, he continues to lead and develop the strategies for Cancer research, both in Wales, the UK, and internationally.
Anthony is lead of the Community theme of the Wales Cancer Research Centre. A Palliative Medicine physician in Cardiff, Anthony is also the Clinical Director of the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre at Cardiff University. His particular areas of research interest are all aspects of palliative rehabilitation, pragmatic study design and implementation, and patient experience. He was responsible for the development of the palliative and supportive care portfolio within the Wales Cancer Trials Unit as former Scientific Lead and Associate Director and is a member of the Palliative and Supportive Care subgroup of the NCRI Brain CSG. He is also research lead for Palliative Care at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board where his clinical practice is based.
Dr. Andrew D. Westwell is currently Reader in Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University (UK), having worked in Cardiff since 2006. He received his BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Leeds (UK). Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Loughborough University (UK), he joined a Cancer Research UK Programme at the University of Nottingham (UK), initially as Senior Research Fellow, later as Lecturer. Following his move to Cardiff he has established a number of collaborative research projects focusing on breast cancer drug discovery, new synthetic chemistry methods, and cancer imaging by Positron Emission Tomography (PET). He has recently been a joint scientific founder of Tiziana Life Sciences (www.tizianalifesciences.com), taking research and IP generated at Cardiff University into a commercial setting, culminating in the launch of a London AIM-listed company progressing a new anti-metastatic drug candidate through pre-clinical evaluation.
He has published more than 100 journal articles and reviews. Technology transfer activities have included a number of patent filings, and he was previously lead chemist in Nottingham on the development of a new molecule from discovery at the bench to early clinical evaluation in cancer. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the international journal Future Medicinal Chemistry.
Annmarie is the lead for our Palliative and Supportive Care Work Package and is the academic lead for the Centre’s Patient and Public Involvement work.
She is Scientific Director of the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre, which has a strong historical and ongoing link with the Wales Cancer Trials Unit. Previously, she was acting Scientific Lead for palliative care clinical trials at the WCTU, and continues to coordinate the palliative care portfolio, with colleague Dr Anthony Byrne, also acting as qualitative research lead and Patient and Public Involvement lead for the unit. She is an honorary lecturer on the MSc Palliative Medicine course based at Cardiff University, acting as supervisor to students undertaking qualitative research projects.
Studies are adopted to the MCPCRC portfolio on the basis that rapid changes to care will ensue as a result.
Annmarie is interested in complex interventions and the patient experience at all levels, including the impact of trial processes and interventions with regard to issues of equipoise and effectiveness, as well as difficult areas of treatment decision-making in advanced cancer, and also late effects of treatment. She has developed a portfolio of qualitative studies embedded within oncology and supportive care clinical trials and national and international multicentre qualitative studies.
On the basis of the clinical trials portfolio, she is working towards synthesising the datasets to explore crosscutting themes relating to trial conduct, e.g. understandings of equipoise, motivations to participate in trials, (mis)understandings of trials treatments and processes etc.
Dr Awen Gallimore gained a DPhil in Professor Andrew McMichael's laboratory in Oxford, studying the anti-viral role of cytotoxic T cells in SIV infection, subsequently moving to Professor Rolf Zinkernagel's laboratory to study the correlates of anti-viral immunity. The recent focus of the Gallimore lab however has been on the regulation of anti-tumour immune responses. This has resulted in a body of work detailing the impact of regulatory T cells on tumour development in both mice and humans. The aim of the group therefore is to take basic research using models of cancer through to testing novel immunotherapies in cancer patients. Recent findings indicate that Tregs can direct specialized vascular differentiation in tumours resulting in T-cell recruitment and cancer rejection. These studies open doors for novel avenues of immunotherapy.