Professor Richard Marais, Manchester
Professor Marais is Scientific Co-Director of the Belfast-Manchester Movember Centre of Excellence, and Director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute. His previous work, and most of the current focus of his lab, is on cancer cell signalling in melanoma; the most serious form of skin cancer.
In particular, Professor Marais’ group is interested in how the BRAF protein triggers skin cancer; work which has already contributed to the development of Vemurafenib, a melanoma treatment that can extend the lives of melanoma patients whose tumours have a BRAF mutation.
Professor Marais’ contribution to cancer research has been widely recognised. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2007. In 2009, he was elected Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences and became an EMBO member and then in 2011, he received the Society for Melanoma Research Estella Medrano Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to melanoma research.
With the launch of the Movember Centre of Excellence, Professor Marais will apply his extensive experience in cancer signalling and genetics, his insights from melanoma research, as well as the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute’s strong track record in developing and improving radiotherapy treatments to the outstanding questions of prostate cancer research. Professor Marais will lead on projects focussing on understanding the genetic basis of high risk prostate cancer and resistance to radiotherapy.
This is very exciting for the future of prostate cancer research. We have established a unique collaboration that will bring together knowledge and insights from across different cancers and disciplines, which will enable us to tackle some of the complexities still surrounding this disease from a new perspective. Crucially, by working in partnership we also hope to increase the speed at which lab breakthroughs reach the man in the clinic and have a direct impact on patient outcomes.