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The MRC Cancer Unit’s mission is to advance understanding of the earliest steps in the development of cancer, and use this knowledge to improve the early detection of cancer, to identify individuals who are most at risk of developing cancer, and to develop new approaches for the treatment of cancer, through the creation of innovative technologies.

For details of our work, please visit the research profiles of group leaders by clicking on the names in the side menu or the list of topic areas below.


Rebecca Fitzgerald

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald

Oesophago-gastric adenocarcinoma: understanding disease pathogenesis and applications to earlier diagnosis


Christian Frezza

Dr Christian Frezza

The metabolic determinants of cancerous transformation

Jacqui Shields

Dr Jacqui Shields

Stroma function in the tumour microenvironment

Sakari Vanharanta

Dr Sakari Vanharanta

Genetic control of tissue-specific carcinogenesis


Dr Benjamin Hall

Modelling the decision making processes of cancer

Shamith Samarajiwa

Dr Shamith Samarajiwa

Deciphering cellular information networks underlying early carcinogenesis using integrative computational and data science approaches

Ashok Venkitaraman

Dr Alessandro Esposito

Cellular decisions and cell-to-cell variability in carcinogenesis

Dr Serena Nik-Zainal

Exploring the physiology of mutagenesis using experimental and computational approaches


Phil Jones

Professor Phil Jones

Cell fate and cancer


Ashok Venkitaraman

Professor Ashok Venkitaraman

1)Tumour suppressor mechanisms in the control of genome stability 2)Therapeutic target discovery 3)Systems microscopy (w Dr Alessandro Esposito).