Professor Charles Swanton of the Francis Crick Institute has been awarded the Royal Society Napier Research Professorship to further his study of the evolution of cancer cells within tumours.
The Royal Society describes its research professorships as prestigious posts which usually run for up to 10 years and provide long-term support for internationally recognised scientists of exceptional accomplishments. Charles is one of only six scientists receiving a professorship this year.
Charles' research group investigates how cells in tumours change and adapt over time and in reaction to treatment. They've found that there is significant genetic diversity among cancer cells in a tumour, with cells having different mutations at different locations in a tumour. This has consequences for how best to characterise and treat a patient's cancer.
Charles is chief investigator of the Cancer Research UK TRACERx clinical study which, through the UCL Cancer Trials Centre and UCL Cancer Institute, is tracking the evolution of lung cancer in patients undergoing treatment.
The other people awarded 2016 Royal Society research professorships are Stephen Barnett of the University of Glasgow, Andrea Brand and David Klenerman of the University of Cambridge, David Leigh of the University of Manchester and Gideon Davies of the University of York. Their research interests cover a wide area - from quantum optics and molecular machines to enzyme structure, DNA sequencing and the development of the nervous system.