Charles Swanton: Biography

Professor Charles Swanton FRCP BSc PhD is a clinician scientist, focusing his work on understanding the challenges inherent in the management of metastatic cancer and their drug resistant and incurable nature.

Charles completed his PhD in 1998 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories on the UCL MBPhD programme before completing his medical oncology and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funded postdoctoral clinician scientist training in 2008.

Charles was appointed CRUK senior clinical research fellow and Group Leader of the Translational Cancer Therapeutics laboratory at the London Research Institute (now part of the Francis Crick Institute) and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital in 2008. Charles was appointed Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Chair in Personalised Cancer Medicine at the UCL Cancer Institute and Consultant Thoracic Medical Oncologist at UCL Hospitals in 2011.

Charles is the Chief Investigator of the CRUK TRACERx clinical study to decipher lung cancer evolution and is co-director of the CRUK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence. Charles was appointed Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences, awarded the Goulstonian lecture and Graham Bull Prize for Clinical Sciences in 2013 and the Journal of Pathology Jass Prize in 2014.

Charles has published over 120 papers, with first or senior author publications in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Genetics, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Cell, Science and the Lancet Oncology. His work has led to insight into genomic diversity within cancers (intratumour heterogeneity) and molecular mechanisms driving cancer branched evolution.

His multidisciplinary team has discovered that DNA replication stress, cancer genome doubling events and the APOBEC3B cytidine deaminase precipitate cancer diversity, accelerating cancer evolution, providing the substrate for cancer drug resistance and treatment failure.

Charles was awarded the Stand Up 2 Cancer Laura Ziskin translational cancer research award in 2015.

Charles Swanton
+44 (0)20 379 62047

  • Qualifications and history
  • 1995 PhD, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK (this became Cancer Research UK in 2002)
  • 2002 Membership Royal College of Physicians
  • 2004 Established lab at the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK
  • 2015 Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK