Our Scientific Advisory Panel

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.

Dr Owen Williams BSc (Hons), PhD (Chair)

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.

Dr Yann Jamin BSc (Hons), PhD

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.

Dr Christina Halsey

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.

Prof. Rod Skinner

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).