Alan Ashworth

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Alan Ashworth
Born 1960 (age 54–55)
Bolton, Lancashire
Nationality British
Alma mater Imperial College
University College, London
Thesis Cloning and characterization of cDNAs derived from cytochrome P-450 mRNAs (1984)
Doctoral students Elizabeth Iorns
Website
alanashworth.wordpress.com

Alan Ashworth, FRS (born 1960 in Bolton, Lancashire) is a British molecular biologist, noted for his work on genes involved in cancer susceptibility. He is former CEO of the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London [1] and currently the President of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Calfornia, San Francisco, a multidisciplinary research and clinical care organization that is one of the largest cancer centers in the Western United States. [2]

Early life[edit]

Ashworth was educated at St Mary's Primary School and Thornleigh Salesion College, Bolton. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Imperial College, London, and achieved his PhD in Biochemistry at University College, London.[3] He joined The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in 1986 and was appointed its CEO in September 2010.[4] He joined the University of California, San Francisco as President of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) and Senior Vice President of Cancer Services of UCSF Health in January 2015. [5]

Career[edit]

Ashworth joined the ICR in 1986 as a Post Doctoral Scientist in the Section of Cell and Molecular Biology and in 1999 he was appointed the first Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre (BBCRC).[6] The Centre is now recognized internationally and has more than 120 scientists and researchers working on aspects of the disease ranging from basic molecular and cellular biology through to translational research and clinical trials.[6] Ashworth's Directorship ended in January 2011 when he took up the position of Chief Executive of the ICR which he held until December 2014.[7]

One of Ashworth's major contributions to cancer research has been his work on genes involved in cancer risk. He was a key part of the team that in 1995 discovered the gene BRCA2, which is linked to an increased risk of some types of cancers [8]/ which is now used to identify women at high risk of the disease. Ten years later, Ashworth identified a way to exploit genetic weaknesses in cancer cells including mutated BRCA 1 or BRCA2, leading to a new approach to cancer treatment. Cancer cells that carry mutant forms of BRCA1 or BRCA2 are highly sensitive to a class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors. Early results from clinical trials of PARP inhibitors are considered to be important and promising.[9]

Ashworth's research reflects his passion for the development of personalised cancer medicine, translating laboratory studies into improvements in patient care. At ICR he was also joint leader,[10] with Professor Tony Swerdlow, of one of the world's most comprehensive and largest (>100,000 participants), studies of breast cancer causation, the Breakthrough Generations Study (http://www.breakthroughgenerations.org.uk).[11]

In January 2015 Ashworth left the ICR to join the University of California, San Francisco as President of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) and Senior Vice President of Cancer Services of UCSF Health. [12] He also serves as Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine and holds the E. Dixon Heise Distinguished Professorship in Oncology.[13]

Awards and recognition[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Management structure". The Institute of Cancer Research. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Research profiles: Professor Alan Ashworth FRS". UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. 
  3. ^ http://www.oncologynews.biz/pdf/oct_nov/ON_ON06_11.pdf
  4. ^ "Press release: The Institute of Cancer Research names Professor Alan Ashworth FRS as new CEO". The Institute of Cancer Research. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  5. ^ http://cancer.ucsf.edu/news/2014/03/17/acclaimed-british-scientist-is-named-director-of-the-ucsf-helen-diller-family-comprehensive-cancer-center.5199
  6. ^ a b http://www.icr.ac.uk/press/press_archive/press_releases_2009/13987.shtml
  7. ^ http://www.icr.ac.uk/press/recent_featured_articles/AA_starts_CE/16865.shtml
  8. ^ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v378/n6559/abs/378789a0.html
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ http://www.breakthroughgenerations.org.uk/whos_involved/the_study_team/the_study_2.html
  11. ^ http://www.breakthroughgenerations.org.uk/
  12. ^ http://cancer.ucsf.edu/news/2014/03/17/acclaimed-british-scientist-is-named-director-of-the-ucsf-helen-diller-family-comprehensive-cancer-center.5199
  13. ^ http://cancer.ucsf.edu/people/profiles/ashworth_alan
  14. ^ "Find an EMBO member (searchable database of members)". EMBO. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Fellows: Professor Alan Ashworth FRS FMedSci". The Academy of Medical Science. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "New Fellows 08 Agarwal - Cohen - New Fellows 2008 - The Royal Society". The Royal Society. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  17. ^ "awardees". ESMO. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  18. ^ "Directory of Fellows". European Academy of Cancer Sciences. 
  19. ^ "Press release: Alan Ashworth To Receive Award for His Breakthrough Work in Breast Cancer". Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. 
  20. ^ http://www.dkfz.de/en/presse/pressemitteilungen/2010/dkfz_pm_10_52-2010-Meyenburg-Award-for-Discoverer-of-BRCA-2-Breast-Cancer-Gene.php

External links[edit]