Although cancers are very diverse and heterogenous, they are nonetheless underpinned by a limited ensemble of shared, common processes. The hope is that identifying and understanding such underlying commonalities will lead to novel cancer therapies that may be broadly applied to diverse patients and many cancer types.
Gerard obtained his BA in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford in 1977 and his Ph.D. in 1981 in molecular immunology from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge. From 1982-4, he was a post-doctoral fellow with J. Michael Bishop at the University of California San Francisco studying the molecular biology of cancer, returning to take up a Research Fellowship at Downing College Cambridge and Assistant Membership of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. In 1988, he moved to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London as a Senior, then Principal, Scientist.
He was elected to EMBO and to the Royal Society’s Napier Research Professorship in 1996 and to fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999. That same year he took up a Distinguished Chair in Cancer Biology at the University of California San Francisco and was appointed Professor of Pathology in 2007. In 2009 he returned to the UK to become Sir William Dunn Professor and Head of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. In 2022, Gerard joined the Francis Crick Institute and was appointed Professor of Cancer Biology at Kings College London.