Cancer Research UK has today announced the appointment of Professor Ketan (KJ) Patel FRS FMedSci as its new Chief Scientist.
Beginning in the role this October, Professor Patel will provide scientific leadership for the charity’s activities and ambitions, joining at an important time following the launch of the organisation’s new long-term strategy earlier this year that puts discovery science at the heart of its work.
Alongside his Directorship roles at the MRC WIMM and MRC MHU, Professor Patel leads the Two tier protection and metabolic genotoxicity during blood production Research Group at the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit whose research focuses on the molecular basis of inherited genomic instability and the role it plays in the biology of stem cells, particularly those that make blood.
Cancer Research UK has funded some of Professor Patel's work in the past, including his research into cancer cachexia, the debilitating wasting condition many people with cancer experience in the later stages of their disease, which we still don’t fully understand. His research has also contributed to the organisation's improved scientific understanding of what drives the development of cancer, such as how alcohol exposure can cause cancer, opening up new opportunities for prevention, detection and treatment.
“I’m proud to be joining an organisation that is so close to my heart’ said Professor Patel, ‘and [I] can’t wait to get started. Cancer Research UK has supported research that I’ve done throughout my career, as well as some of the scientific breakthroughs that I’ve made in my lab, and I’ve always been impressed by the incredibly talented people that work at the organisation.
“Cancer Research UK has been at the forefront of key discoveries that have saved lives over the past 120 years and our industry’s understanding of cancer has improved greatly over the past decade alone. Cancer remains one of the world’s greatest health challenges, but with new technologies, global networks, and new ways of thinking about cancer, I’m optimistic about what we can achieve in the future.”
Chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Michelle Mitchell, added “I’m delighted that KJ will be bringing his substantial expertise to this role. KJ worked closely with our charity throughout his career and he joins us at an exciting time with projects such as Cancer Grand Challenges, Cancer Research Horizons and TRACERx providing us with real hope that we can continue pushing the boundaries of scientific understanding and improving the lives of people affected by cancer.”