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Oxford has made major contributions to our understanding of cancer. The link between smoking and cancer was demonstrated here by Sir Richard Doll and the existence of tumour suppressor genes was demonstrated in cell fusion experiments by Sir Henry Harris. Following substantial investment in the past decade, and the relocation of the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research from London in 2007, Oxford now has one of the highest concentrations of world-class cancer research in the world.  Much of the expansion has occurred at the Old Road Campus, conveniently located near the new NHS Oxford Cancer Centre.

Oxford is rated particularly highly in cancer epidemiology, genome integrity, radiation biology and translational research. There is basic and translational research into environmental risk factors and the molecular genetic basis of cancer, including oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes, genome integrity and repair. The tumour environment has become a major new area of research, and Oxford leads the way in understanding the role of hypoxia, angiogenesis, growth factors, metastasis and stem cells in cancer. Oxford has invested in early phase clinical trials and developing personalized medicine in partnership with Cancer Research UK, and develops radiation treatments in partnership with the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology.

Departments in which cancer research is a major theme include the Departments of Oncology and Biochemistry, the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology and the Nuffield Departments of: Clinical Medicine; Clinical Laboratory Sciences; Surgical Sciences; Primary Care Health Sciences; and Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences.

Cancer research is also performed in the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics.

Some supervisors working in this theme are not included here as they are not in the Medical Sciences Division. They can be found in the Departments of Chemistry, Engineering, Physics and Zoology

The Oxford Cancer Research Centre awards a number of generous 4 year DPhil studentships every year, funded by Cancer Research UK. All applicants applying on a cancer-related project, across all departments, will automatically be considered for these studentships and can explicitly request that they be considered when they make their application.  These prestigious studentships will be awarded to the highest calibre applicants from across all relevant Departments.


The Centre also awards 2 Clinical Research Fellowships each year, available for clinicians wishing to undertake a DPhil and provides MSc bursaries for clinicians and allied health professionals to undertake a MSc at Oxford.

Supervisors in Cancer


Naomi Allen

Associate Professor in Epidemiology

Nicholas Athanasou

Professorship of Musculoskeletal Pathology

Colin Baigent

Professor of Epidemiology and Director, MRC PHRU

Clare Bankhead

Associate Professor

Valerie Beral

Professor of Epidemiology and Co-Director, CEU

Francesca Buffa

Computational Biology and Integrative Genomics

Pedro Carvalho

EP Abraham Professor of Cell Biology

Ross Chapman

Associate Professor, CRUK CDF, Lister Fellow & EMBO Young Investigator

Mark Coles

Kennedy Trust Senior Research Fellow

David Cutter

Clinical Research Fellow (CTSU) and Consultant Clinical Oncologist (Oxford ...

Sarah Darby

Professor of Medical Statistics

James Dunford

Senior Research Associate

Omer Dushek

Sir Henry Dale Fellow

Terry Dwyer

Professor of Epidemiology, The George Institute UK

Claire Edwards

Associate Professor of Bone Oncology

James Edwards

Arthritis Research UK Career Development Fellow

Maike Glitsch

Associate Professor of Biomedical Science

Deborah Goberdhan

Associate Professor of Cell Signalling

Jane Green

Professor of Epidemiology

Ulrike Gruneberg

MRC Senior Research Fellow

Nina Hallowell

Associate Professor, Nuffield Department of Population Health

Freddie Hamdy

Head of Department

Bass Hassan

Professor of Medical Oncology

Michael Holmes

Associate Professor

Nicole Horwood

Associate Professor and ARUK Senior Research Fellow

Yoshi Itoh

Associate Professor and Principal Investigator Cell Migration Group

Fredrik Karpe

Professor of Metabolic Medicine

Tim Key

Professor of Epidemiology & Deputy Director, CEU

Helen Knowles

University Research Lecturer and Arthritis Research UK Career Development Fellow

Anjali Kusumbe

Principal Investigator

Paul McGale

Medical Statistician

Kim Midwood

Professor of Matrix Biology

Conrad Nieduszynski

Associate Professor of Cell Biology

Udo Oppermann

Professor of Molecular Biology

Siim Pauklin

CRUK Career development fellow

Rafael Perera

Director Medical Statistics

Martin Philpott

Senior Research Associate

Barry V L Potter

Professor of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

Fiona Powrie FRS

Professor of Musculoskeletal Sciences and Director of the Kennedy Institute

Aurora Pérez-Cornago

Senior Nutritional Epidemiologist

Gill Reeves

Professor of Statistical Epidemiology

Irene Roberts

Professor of Paediatric Haematology

Anindita Roy

Associate Professor of Paediatric Haematology

Angela Russell

Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

Michael Sharpe

Professor of Psychological Medicine

Siân Sweetland

Senior Statistical Epidemiologist

Francis Szele

Associate Professor of Developmental Biology

Carolyn Taylor

Associate Professor, Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Oncologist

Helen Townley

University Research Lecturer

Ruth Travis

Associate Professor and Senior Molecular Epidemiologist

Robert Wilkins

Associate Professor of Epithelial Physiology

Suzannah Williams

Principal Investigator/Research Group Leader; Lead of Ovarian Research for the ...

Clive Wilson

Professor of Cell and Developmental Genetics

Mark Woodward

Professor of Statistics and Epidemiology

Lucy Wright

Senior Epidemiologist, Unit of Health Care Epidemiology

Ling Yang

Senior Epidemiologist; University Research Lecturer

Owen Yang

Epidemiologist

Manuela Zaccolo

Director, Burdon Sanderson Cardiac Sciences Centre