News and Events

University of Cambridge Cancer Researcher to Visit UCC

29 Oct 2010

University of Cambridge Professor Gerard Evan, external advisor to the PhD Scholars Programme in Cancer Biology, will visit UCC on the 3rdof November 2010.   As part of his visit, Prof. Evan will deliver a lecture entitled, “How tumour suppressors suppress and oncogenes onc,” at 1pm in Boole 2.  The lecture is free and open to all.

Gerard Evan’s research has focused on understanding the processes responsible for the genesis and maintenance of cancers through his work on Myc protein, which is aberrantly expressed in most human cancers.  Changes in Myc protein can occur when the gene that encodes it acquires mutations.  When the Myc gene is altered to a cancerous version, it becomes an oncogene.  Proteins encoded by oncogenes often go on to affect how cells grow and proliferate, and if these processes are not controlled, cancer will develop. 

By understanding the biology of proteins like Myc, it is hoped that new therapies can be designed to treat, and ultimately cure, cancer in patients.       

According to Professor Rosemary O’Connor, Director of the PhD Scholars Programme in Cancer Biology, “Gerard Evan is one of the most innovative cancer researchers in the world, whose work has established the foundation for current thinking on the actions of oncogenes.  He is also an inspiring research leader and mentor, and we are delighted to have him as an external advisor on our PhD programme.”


Gerard Evan received his BA in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford and his PhD in Molecular Immunology from the University of Cambridge for work conducted at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology.  He was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of J. Michael Bishop at theUniversity ofCalifornia, San Francisco (UCSF).  He has held positions at the Cambridge Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Downing College, Cambridge, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) Laboratories, University College London and University of California, San Francisco.


Prof. Evan has held numerous visiting professorships and has received various awards including the Pfizer Prize in Biology (1995), Steiner Prize in Cancer Research from the Swiss Oncological Society (1996), and election to the European Molecular Biology Organization (1996) and the Royal Society (2004).


In 2009, Gerard Evan was elected to the Sir William Dunn Chair of Biochemistry in the University of Cambridge and is Head of the Department.  He is an author on over 190 scientific publications.


As part of the external advisory board of the PhD Scholars Programme in Cancer Biology, Prof. Evan will meet with programme members and PhD Scholars to offer his advice as a cancer expert on training aspects and delivery of the programme.  


Established in 2008 with funding from the Health Research Board of Ireland, the PhD Scholars Programme in Cancer Biology is a prestigious, four-year, structured PhD programme designed to educate and train students to become future leaders in the cancer biology field.  The Programme currently has 10 Scholars working toward their PhDs in cancer biology.  Applications for the next intake of students, to begin in October 2011, are currently being accepted. 


More information about the PhD Scholars Programme in Cancer Biology can be found at:

Cancer Biology at UCC