Shivan Sivakumar is Clinical Career Development Fellow in the Department of Oncology. Here he discusses his project and benefits he has drawn from his experience as an Oxford-BMS Fellow.
What is your research background?
I studied medicine at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) with an intercalated pharmacology degree and graduated in 2008 and went on to complete an academic foundation programme in Leeds with Heike Grabsch and Phil Quirke. I studied for a PhD in Cambridge, starting with Dave Tuveson (until he left) and finishing with Kathryn Lilley. I then completed my core medical training in Rhyl, Wales, and Leeds, with a short post-doc with Florian Markowetz in Cambridge.
I undertook medical oncology training with a combined postdoc with Mike Dustin and Mark Middleton as a clinical lecturer in Oxford in 2015 and recently started a clinical career development fellowship (Oxford-BMS Fellowship) in October 2019, and I am also an honorary medical oncology consultant with a specialist interest in experimental pancreatic cancer medicine.
What are you researching now?
I am currently studying the immune infiltrate of pancreatic cancer at a single cell level to understand the composition of this infiltrate and the activity of these cells to help design novel therapeutic strategies. The work is done in collaboration with Mike Dustin, Mark Middleton, Rachael Bashford-Rogers, Enas Abu Shah and Ben Fairfax in Oxford with Miriam Merad in Mount Sinai, Gary Nolan at Stanford and BMS scientists.
What has your experience of this Fellowship been like?
The experience of the Fellowship has been brilliant and I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this even with the disruption from covid. A key highlight has been the belief that nothing is impossible and the important collaborations and friends I have made in BMS.
What are your aspirations for the future of this research?
I would like to continue practising as an academic medical oncologist attempting to deliver novel therapeutic strategies for pancreatic cancer. I would like to continue developing academic-industry collaborations to deliver this.