Our Scientific Advisory Board assess the scientific value and suitability for funding of all grant applications and advise on our research strategy.

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    NIHR Clinician Scientist in Surgical Oncology

    Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, Cliona Kirwan’s areas of interest include investigating the relationship between clotting and cancer.

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    Consultant in Medical Oncology and Honorary Senior Lecturer

    Anne Armstrong carries out clinical studies of new treatments in breast cancer and leads trials of investigational agents in triple negative disease.

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    Sue Astley leads work on the development of imaging biomarkers (breast density and texture) for breast cancer risk, and the science underpinning stratified screening. Her research encompasses a range of technologies from Computer Aided Detection (CAD) and Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) to the use of a computer game input device to aid selection of breast implants.

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    Professor of Medical Genetics

    Gareth Evans is particularly interested in biomarkers of risk of developing breast cancer.

    Professor Evans has established a national and international reputation in clinical and research aspects of cancer genetics, particularly in neurofibromatosis and breast cancer. He has developed a clinical service for cancer genetics in the North West Region of England, which is nationally regarded. He is an important opinion leader nationally through membership of committees and was chairman of the NICE Familial Breast Cancer Guideline Development Group (2002-2010) and is now clinical lead (2011-). He lectures throughout the UK and internationally on hereditary breast cancer and cancer syndromes. He has given plenary lectures at many international meetings including the International Congress of Human Genetics and two invited lecture tours across Australia (1995, 2001). He has developed a national training program for clinicians, nurses and genetic counsellors in breast cancer genetics and established a system for risk assessment and counselling for breast cancer in Calman breast units implemented through a training course (1998-2011).

    He has published 603 peer reviewed research publications; 225 as first or senior author. He has published over 90 reviews and chapters and has had a book published by Oxford University Press on familial cancer. He has an ISI web of knowledge H-index of 80 and a google scholar H-index of 108 having only published his first article in 1990. In the last 5 years he has raised over £10 million in grants for multicentre and local studies – approximately £5 million to Manchester. He is Chief Investigator on a £1.59 million NIHR program grant (2009-2014) on breast cancer risk prediction and also has an NIHR RfPB grant as CI (2011). He has led a successful bid for a Nationally funded NF2 service (£7.5 million pa) that started in 2010 and is involved in the national complex NF1 service.

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    Lecturer

    Andrew Gilmore is interested in how adhesion mediated signalling regulates mammary epithelial cell survival.

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    Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon

    James Harvey has an interest in the clinical outcome of breast reconstruction surgery, in particular from the patient’s viewpoint. He also is involved in running surgical trials in breast cancer.

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    Research Dietitian

    Dr Michelle Harvie is an award-winning research dietitian funded by Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention. For the last 22 years she has specialised in optimum diet and exercise strategies for weight loss and preventing breast cancer and its recurrence. Her findings have been published in many major scientific journals. Dr Harvie is the author of the best-selling book The 2-Day Diet. Click here for more information about her research.

    She was awarded the British Dietetic Association Rose Simmond’s Award for best published dietetic research in 2005, Manchester City Council’s 2007 International Women’s Day Award for Women in Science, and the National Association for the Study of Obesity Best Practice Award for best published obesity research in 2010.

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    Senior Clinical Lecturer

    Sacha Howell carries out trials of new breast cancer drugs. He is particularly interested in approaches to overcome resistance to hormone therapy.

    Dr Howell graduated from The University of Nottingham Medical School in 1993. After completion of basic medical training and year working overseas in Grenada he entered entered specialist training in Medical Oncology in 1999 at The Christie Hospital. He was awarded CCT in 2006, and in the same year was awarded his PhD from The University of Manchester during which he defined a previously unidentified role for prolactin signalling in breast cancer stem/progenitor cell regulation. Following a period as a senior clinical research fellow he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester in 2010. His professional time is divided between the clinical care of cancer patients at The Christie and both basic and clinical research at the CRUK Manchester Institute and The Christie respectively.

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    Professor of Medical Oncology

    Tony Howell is interested, with Gareth Evans, in the prediction of breast cancer risk and the pharmacological prevention of breast cancer. With Michelle Harvie he is interested in lifestyle preventive measures. With MBC scientists, he is interested in the underlying biology of breast cancer risk and prevention.and the development of new preventive agents.

    Anthony Howell is Professor of Medical Oncology and, leads the Genesis Prevention Centre Research Programme at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. He is the former Director of the Breast Cancer Now Research Unit, and the Manchester Breast Centre. He trained at Charing Cross Hospital, London and, after a period with the Medical Research Council, moved to Birmingham and then took a post to lead Breast Medical Oncology at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. Formerly he was Chairman of the UK Breast Trials Organisation (UKCCCR), the British Breast Group and the ATAC trial and, up until the end of 2007, was the Research & Development Director of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Research Director of the Greater Manchester & Cheshire Cancer Research Network. His interests are the endocrine therapy and biology of the breast and breast cancer with a particular interest in prevention. He has published over 650 papers mainly in these areas.

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    Consultant Academic Breast Radiologist

    Tony is a Consultant Breast Radiologist. His interests include the prevention, early diagnosis and follow-up of breast cancer, pre-invasive breast disease, breast imaging technology and minimally invasive techniques for diagnosis and treatment. He is currently leading a Prevent Breast Cancer funded study looking at tomosynthesis in breast cancer screening (a new 3D mammography technique) and is conducting a study on MRI assessment of pre-invasive breast cancer. Tony is also an active collaborator on several other major studies.

    For more information about the Tomosynthesis study (FH Tomo), click here.

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    Professor of Cell Biology

    Charles Streuli is elucidating the involvement of extracellular matrix and integrin signalling in normal mammary gland biology and early breast cancer.

    Charles obtained his first degree in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, and PhD at the University of Leicester. This was followed by postdoctoral work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London, and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. He was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science by the Wellcome Trust to set up his own laboratory at the University of Manchester in 1992. Charles jointly established the Manchester Breast Centre, a pan-Manchester organisation uniting basic and clinical scientists working on mammary gland biology and breast cancer in 2005, and co-founded the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at the University of Manchester in 2009. He was appointed to the position of Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research from 2009 to 2014. Charles was elected to become a Fellow of the Society of Biology in 2013.

    Charles’ scientific achievements have been to discover mechanisms by which cell-matrix interactions control developmental morphogenesis, survival and proliferation, as well as tissue-specific gene expression in epithelia. By focusing on breast biology, he revealed the central role of integrin adhesion receptors in mammalian cell behavior, providing a general framework for understanding epithelial tissue development and function. He discovered that integrins control epithelial differentiation, identifying a molecular pathway linking them with tissue-specific gene expression. His laboratory also revealed that cell-matrix interactions determines apoptosis by controlling Bax trafficking between cytosol and mitochondrial. Charles’ laboratory also discovered that integrins determine the orientation of epithelial polarity in the breast, and that this occurs via endocytosis of apical components away from cell-matrix adhesions. His laboratory is newly focussing on the small GTPase, Rac1, in both breast development and cancer, and he is developing completely novel areas of research, both into the links between circadian clocks and breast biology, and also how the micro-mechanics of the tissue has a central role in starting breast cancer in people.

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    Clinical Director of The Christie NIHR/CRUK Clinical Research Facility

    Consultant & Honorary Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology

    Lead for The Christie Manchester Breast Centre Research Team

    Andrew Wardley is Clinical Director of The Christie NIHR/CRUK Clinical Research Facility, a member of the NCRI Breast Group and is PI and member of steering committees of a large number of phase I-III trials in early and late breast cancer.

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    Lecturer in Medical Genetics

    Michelle Webb is a Lecturer in Genomic Medicine at the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester.

    Dr Webb’s current research is focused on the development of low cost, point of care sensing platforms for Breast Cancer diagnosis and recurrence monitoring. She also has an interest in understanding the functional impact of BRCA1/2 missense variants to aid prediction of pathogenicity.