The members of our Scientific Advisory Panel freely give their time and expertise to drive forward research in our fight against childhood cancer. This includes assessing research grant applications as part of our peer review process and discussing developments in the field to take forward new initiatives.
Research into childhood cancer is a broad field and we aim to reflect the diversity of topics amongst the membership of our Scientific Advisory Panel. Thus, we select our Scientific Advisory Panel from a pool of experts to tailor for each funding call, depending upon the subject background required. Tenure on the Panel is for up to three years; this may be extended for a further period of up to three years by mutual agreement. At the end of the tenure period, a Panel member will be invited to become a Scientific Advisor.
Below, you can read about the Scientific Advisory Panel appointed to our most recent Research Grant Call, which was for Research into Childhood Cancer Treatment and Survival in 2019.
Reader in Cancer Biology and Head of Cancer Section, UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust
Owen is an expert in leukaemia/haematology models and drug repositioning.
He joined the UCL Institute of Child Health in 2000 and his research group has focussed on the generation and study of experimental models for molecularly defined subtypes of childhood leukaemia.
The aim of his research is to understand how particular cancer genes alter the function of normal blood cells, transforming them into leukaemia, and use this knowledge to develop novel therapies. He is particularly interested in using the experimental models generated by his group in drug repositioning studies. This approach aims to identify drugs, currently used to treat patients with unrelated disorders, that have hitherto unappreciated anti-leukaemia activities.
Owen joined the Panel in April 2016 and was elected to the role of Chair in July 2017. He is in receipt of a current project grant from Children with Cancer UK, awarded in December 2017.
Emeritus Professor of Neuro-oncology, working at the University of Portsmouth, Kings College London and the University of Cardiff
Prof. Geoff Pilkington has over 50 years’ experience of research into the biopathology of brain tumours and is a past President of the British Neuro-oncology Society as well as past Treasurer and Executive Board Member of the European Association for Neuro-oncology. His published works include those on glioma invasion, blood brain barrier, drug repurposing and development of models for the study of tumour development, tumour micro-environment, pre-clinical therapeutics testing, drug discovery and drug delivery.
Prof. Geoff Pilkington kindly acted as Scientific Advisory Panel Chair for Children with Cancer UK’s 2018 Grant Call for research into childhood and young person cancer causes and prevention.
Medical Research Director, Children with Cancer UK
Nick has a long link with the charity from his time on our Scientific Advisory Panel; he took up the role of Medical Research Director in 2016 on retiring from Great Ormond Street Hospital. He is working with the Scientific Advisory Panel and the staff team to maximise the positive impact of our research funding.
Scientific Director, Children with Cancer UK
Denis Henshaw, formerly Professor of Human Radiation Effects at Bristol University, has wide experience in environmental factors affecting childhood cancer risk. Denis works with the charity’s Scientific Advisory Panel to award funding for high-quality research into the causes, prevention and treatment of childhood cancer.
Children with Cancer UK Research Fellow, The Institute of Cancer Research, London
Yann is an expert in molecular and functional imaging applied to cancer. Yann is a junior group leader at the ICR since 2014 and his research focus on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
His research used advanced mouse models of neuroblastoma and computer-aided digital pathology to calibrate non-invasive MRI-based functional and molecular imaging scans to reveal and maps regional variations in active disease and to monitor and predict how neuroblastoma respond to therapy. Collaborating with the Royal Marsden Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, he aims to translate these scans into practical solutions to enhance the clinical management of children with neuroblastoma.
His goals are to improve radiological diagnosis and response assessment while both shedding new lights on the biology of the disease and accelerating the development of more effective and safer therapies for children with cancer
In May 2014 he was awarded a Children with Cancer UK Research Fellowship to help him to take forward these ambitions. Yann joined our Scientific Advisory Panel in April 2016.
Senior Clinical Lecturer, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow
Dr Halsey is a paediatric Haematologist who combines clinical and academic work. Her research centres on the biology and treatment of leukaemias that have spread to involve the central nervous system (CNS). Current projects include investigating the adaptation of leukaemic cells to CNS and bone marrow microenvironments and identifying metabolic vulnerabilities that can be exploited therapeutically. A second major interest of Dr Halsey’s group is in mechanisms and therapeutic strategies that might reduce neurotoxicity associated with CNS-directed treatment in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. This is linked to development of better biomarkers for CNS leukaemia and identifying children at risk of neurotoxicity who are suitable for targeted interventions.
Dr Halsey’s research is combined with clinical work at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, where she cares for children with a wide range of blood disorders and cancer. She also play a major role in several international consortia working to improve outcomes for children with cancer and is leading several clinical studies exploring ways to improve CNS-directed therapy and reduce neurotoxicity of therapy.
Consultant in Paediatric and Adolescent Oncology, Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Haematology/Oncology, Great North Children’s Hospital
Professor of Childhood Cancer, Newcastle University Centre for Cancer, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Professor Rod Skinner has been a Consultant in Paediatric and Adolescent Oncology / BMT at the Great North Children’s Hospital, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne since 1996, and is an Honorary Professor of Childhood Cancer, Newcastle University Centre for Cancer. He qualified in Birmingham in 1983 and was awarded a PhD by Newcastle University in 1995 for his research into chemotherapy-induced nephrotoxicity in children with cancer. Although recently semi-retired, he continues clinical practice in long-term follow-up (LTFU) as clinical lead. His research interests include late adverse effects of childhood cancer treatment and LTFU of childhood cancer survivors.
He has played a leading role in the development of evidence-based, internationally-harmonised LTFU surveillance guidelines. He is a member of the UK Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, and current chair of the Late Effects Group. He was one of the three instigators and founding members in 2008 of PanCare (Pan-European Network for Care of Survivors after Childhood and Adolescent Cancer).
Consultant in Paediatric & Adolescent Oncology Drug Development, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust; Honorary Faculty/Senior Lecturer, The Institute of Cancer Research, London
Dr Marshall is a consultant paediatric oncologist and Paediatric Clinical Research Lead at The Royal Marsden Hospital, London. She heads the Paediatric and Adolescent Oncology Drug Development Team, focusing on early phase clinical trials of experimental therapeutics for high-risk, poor-prognosis malignancies (solid and CNS tumours). She undertook her PhD at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in the field of novel targeted therapeutics for paediatric high-grade glioma. She is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Division of Clinical Studies at The ICR.
She currently chairs the UK’s NCRI Children’s Group Novel Agents Subgroup and is Clinical Trials Theme Co-Lead for the UK’s Paediatric Experimental Cancer Medicines Centre (ECMC) Network. She is a member of the Clinical Trials Committee of the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) European early phase clinical trials consortium, and of the Executive Committee of the SIOPE-ITCC ACCELERATE multi-stakeholder platform.
Dr Kurt Straif was long-term Head of the Section of Evidence Synthesis and Classification at the International Agency for Research on Cancer(IARC), World Health Organisation (WHO), Lyon, France, where he directed the programs of the IARC Monographs, the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention and the WHO Classification of Tumours. He is now an Associate Researcher at ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain and a Visiting Professor at Boston College.
He has co-authored more than 200 scientific papers and was Editor and Associate editor of several books (including The World Cancer Report; Air pollution and Cancer; Social Inequalities in Cancer) and has received the Champion of Environmental Health Research Award of the US NIEHS (2016), the Distinguished Lecture in Occupational and Environmental Cancer of the U.S. NCI (2018), and the ISEE Research Integrity Award (2019).
He studied Medicine, Epidemiology, Public Health, and Philosophy in Europe and the United States and is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Occupational, Environmental and Social Medicine.
Medical Epidemiologist, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), World Health Organisation (WHO)
Dr Soerjomataram’s research interests are in international variation in the burden of cancer and outcome from cancer, impact of prevention on cancer and also looking on how new cancer indicators can help policy making, clinical practice and communication to stakeholders. She specializes in descriptive cancer epidemiology and health impact assessment. Dr Soerjomataram received her medical degree from the University of Indonesia in 2001, followed by a PhD in cancer epidemiology with a thesis on the epidemiology of multiple cancers at the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam in 2007. Before moving to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, she went to the Harvard School of Public Health as a visiting scholar on global health under a personal fellowship from the Dutch Scientific Foundation.