Knighthood for Dr Richard Treisman

11 June 2016

Dr Richard Treisman, biochemist, molecular biologist and Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute, has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to biomedical science and to cancer research.

Richard's research seeks to understand at the molecular level how chemical signals arriving at a cell's surface are transmitted to the cell nucleus to alter the expression of specific genes.

His main focus is on a system known as the SRF network, which regulates expression both of genes important for cell proliferation, and for cell movement and adhesion, functions critical for cancer cell growth and spread.

Richard Treisman received his PhD in 1981, for work on virus gene expression with Bob Kamen at the former Imperial Cancer Research fund. Following postdoctoral work in the USA with Tom Maniatis, he joined the staff of the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge in 1984, where he started working on how gene transcription is regulated by growth factors. He continued this work after he returned to the ICRF in 1988. A major current research interest is in how changes in the activity of the cell's dynamic internal framework - the 'cytoskeleton' - are transformed into changes in gene expression.

Richard became Director of Laboratory Research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in 1999, and Director of the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute upon the foundation of CRUK in 2002. He is currently a Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute.

Richard is member of EMBO, a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was awarded the EMBO medal in 1995 and the Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2002.

Sir Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick institute, said: "I am absolutely delighted that Richard's world-leading contributions have been recognised with a knighthood. Having worked with him over many years I greatly respect both his research and his leadership. I speak for all our colleagues at the Crick in congratulating him for this well-deserved honour."

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "This is wonderful news and fantastic recognition for Richard's work. He has spent his career working to better understand the complexity of cancer, and how our cells regulate DNA and coordinate gene activity. He has also been instrumental in identifying and mentoring outstanding young scientists who have gone on to become world leaders in their fields.

"In 2000 Richard became director of the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, and under his leadership the Institute became a powerhouse of ground-breaking research that grew in reputation across the world.

"The charity is very lucky to have been able to support so much of his work, since the early days of his PhD when we were the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, and with his ongoing role as a research director at the Francis Crick Institute, we look forward to many more years of working together. It's only through work such as Richard's that we're able to develop discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. This is thoroughly deserved and I'm delighted for Richard."

Richard said: "This is a wonderful honour, one which reflects the efforts of the many talented people who have worked with me, and the outstanding research organisations that have supported my research over the years."

  • Dr Richard Treisman, Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute, has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to biomedical science and to cancer research.
  • Richard became Director of Laboratory Research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in 1999, and Director of the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute upon the foundation of CRUK in 2002.