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The Oxford Centre for Translational Myeloma Research

The Centre


Steering Committee/Board of Directors:
  • Karthik Ramasamy, RDM
  • Udo Oppermann, NDORMS/SGC
  • Mark Middleton, Department of Oncology
  • Paresh Vyas, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
  • Xin Lu, Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research
  • Andrew Carr, NDORMS
  • Chas Bountra, SGC/NDM
  • Claire Edwards, NDORMS
  • Vincenzo Cerundolo, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
  • Michael Sundstrom, SGC/Karolinska Institute

Scientific Advisory Board

Kenneth Anderson, Harvard Medical School, USA.

USA Kenneth Anderson is a graduate of Boston University and Johns Hopkins Medical School, trained in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and then completed haematology, medical oncology, and tumour immunology training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Kenneth Anderson is the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as Director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Research Scientist and American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor. Over the last three decades, he has focused his laboratory and clinical research studies on multiple myeloma. He has developed laboratory and animal models of the tumour in its microenvironment which have allowed for both identification of novel targets and validation of novel targeted therapies, and has then rapidly translated these studies to clinical trials culminating in FDA approval of novel targeted therapies. His paradigm for identifying and validating targets in the tumour cell and its milieu has transformed myeloma therapy and markedly improved patient outcome. He is a recipient of many scientific and humanitarian awards and is appointed as a Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy, to the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute, and to the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, served as President of the International Myeloma Society, and is President of the American Society of Haematology.

Holger Auner, Imperial College, London, UK.

Holger Auner is a Senior Clinical Lecturer and Consultant at the Centre for Haematology, Imperial College. After extensive training in haemato-oncology in Austria and UK, he was awarded a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2012 and is now leading a research group at Imperial’s Centre for Haematology. Dr Auner’s primary research interest is to better understand aspects of protein degradation pathways in multiple myeloma and other cancers, with the ultimate goal of finding novel therapeutic approaches.

Hervé Avet-Loiseau, University Cancer Center, Toulouse, France.

Hervé Avet-Loiseau, MD, is Head of the Laboratory for Genomics in Myeloma in the University Cancer Center of Toulouse and has been since September 2012. Before, he was Head of the Haematology Laboratory of the University Hospital of Nantes, France, a position he has held since 2008. He received his medical degree with a specialization in Paediatric Haematology in 1990. After pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr Joe Gray in San Francisco, he moved into the area of Biological Haematology in 1995 and subsequently specialized in cytogenetics. He received his PhD in 1998 and became Professor of Haematology in 2001. Professor Hervé Avet-Loiseau is highly involved in the Intergroupe Francophone du Myélome and is current Chairman where he leads all biological studies. Most of these studies are based on the analysis of genetic/genomic abnormalities observed in malignant plasma cells using different technologies, including fluorescence in-situ hybridization, gene expression profiling, single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, and next generation sequencing.

Christopher Bunce, University of Birmingham, UK.

Chris Bunce is head of the University of Birmingham School of Biosciences and Professor of translational Cancer Biology. He co-Directs a translational research group dedicated to the development of novel therapies for leukaemias and lymphomas. A particular focus is the exploitation of drug redeployment strategies using off- patent drugs to provide affordable therapies that can be exploited by all including the worlds poorer nations. Between 2012-15 Chris Bunce was research director for Bloodwise, the UK’s foremost research charity exclusively dedicated to haematological malignancies. During his time at the charity Chris Bunce oversaw a programme of assessing patient need which has had a profound impact on his research gaols with a new interest in MGUS and Myeloma.

Peter Croucher, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia.

Peter undertook undergraduate and PhD training in UK in Cardiff, followed by post-doctoral training in Cambridge and Sheffield. Peter became a Leukaemia Research Fund Bennett Senior Research Fellow before moving to Oxford University as a Senior Research Fellow in 2001. Peter returned to Sheffield in 2003 as Professor of Bone Biology. In 2009 Peter was appointed joint Director of the Mellanby Center for Bone Research and the Head of the Department of Human Metabolism, at the University of Sheffield. In December 2011 Peter joined the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney as a Senior Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Division of Bone Biology.

Peter’s research interests are in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for physiological and pathological regulation of the skeleton. He has a particular interest in tumours that grow in bone including multiple myeloma, or those that metastasise to bone, such as breast and prostate cancers. Peter has been involved in the development of therapeutic approaches to inhibit bone resorption and stimulate bone formation in myeloma. More recently, Peter’s interests have focus on understanding tumour cell dormancy in the skeleton.

Samir Parekh, Mt Sinai Medical School, NY, USA.

Samir Parekh is an Associate Professor of Haematology, Oncology and Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, USA. After clinical training in Haematology and Oncology, Samir completed postdoctoral training with Dr. Ari Melnick at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His independent lab uses an integrated systems biology approach to study genome-wide methylation, gene expression and DNA sequence variation to understand pathogenesis, develop biomarkers and guide personalized therapy in B cell malignancies.

Graham Russell, FRS, Universities of Sheffield/Oxford, UK.

Graham Russell graduated with First Class Honours in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge in 1962 and subsequently gained his PhD on pyrophosphate metabolism from the MRC Mineral Metabolism Unit at the University of Leeds. In 1965, he joined Dr Herbert Fleisch’s Medical Research Institute in Davos, Switzerland, and their collaborative work led to the discovery of the biological effects of bisphosphonates. He then moved to Oxford University, where he continued research based at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Working with Roger Smith, this led to the first and successful clinical applications of bisphosphonates in Paget’s disease of bone. He was awarded his DM at Oxford in 1976, and also gained Membership and then the Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Pathology. He has worked on topics related to calcium metabolism and bone diseases throughout his career and is author of more than 500 publications. He has played a central role in studying the biological effects of bisphosphonates, and in their clinical development and evaluation for the treatment of bone disorders, which includes Paget’s disease, myeloma, cancer metastases in bone, and osteoporosis. In 2001 he moved back to the University of Oxford as the holder of the newly established Norman Collisson Chair of Musculoskeletal Sciences, and became a Professorial Fellow at St Peter’s College. From 2003-6 he was Head of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (now NDORMS). He was the first Director of the Oxford University Institute of Musculoskeletal Sciences (the Botnar Research Centre), from 2002-7. He is retired Professor of Musculoskeletal Pharmacology and continues his research within the Botnar Research Centre, and also in the Mellanby Centre for Bone Research at Sheffield University.

Anjan Thakurta, Celgene Corporation.

Anjan Thakurta got his Master’s degree in biotechnology from Jawaharlal Nehru University and M.Tech in Biochemical Engineering from IIT Delhi, India. He was a Nehru fellow at Cambridge University for his doctoral work and completed his post-doctoral training at Molecular and Cellular Biology Dept. at Harvard University. He worked at the National Cancer Institute, USA, AstraZeneca and Biogen Idec in various roles in Oncology Research and Drug development. He joined Celgene Research and Early Development department in 2011. Currently he is Executive Director, Translational Development and Diagnostics and leads the Myeloma Disease Group, the Myeloma Genome Project and the Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) project teams.

Kwee Yong, University College London, UK.

Kwee Yong was educated at Oxford University and University College London (UCL). She was awarded a PhD from London University in 1993 and returned to UCL as Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in 1999, since when she has been clinical and academic lead in multiple myeloma at University College Hospital. Professor Yong is a member of the UK Myeloma Research Alliance and is chief investigator on several National Cancer Research Network trials involving new treatment regimens and paradigm changing strategies in multiple myeloma. She is a member of the National Cancer Research Institute Haematological Oncology Clinical Studies Group, the Cancer Research UK clinical careers committee and the Myeloma UK Clinical Trials network established in 2009 to run early phase studies in the UK. She has contributed to the recent revision of the UKMF/Nordic myeloma guidelines, is chair of the executive board of the UK Myeloma Forum, and acts as clinical expert for NICE technology appraisals. She is a regular speaker at national and international meetings. Professor Yong also runs a translational programme working on myeloma biology and immunology, and the mechanisms of bone disease. Professor Yong is the NIHR training lead for Academic Clinical Fellows and Clinical Lecturers at UCL.


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