Publish date: 11 November 2021

University College London Hospitals (UCLH) consultant Professor Charles Swanton is one of three innovative cancer investigators to be awarded the prestigious Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). The prize, named in honour of MSK’s past President Emeritus, the late Paul Marks, MD, recognises a new generation of leaders in cancer research who are making significant contributions to the understanding of cancer or are improving the treatment of the disease through basic or clinical research. 

A committee of prominent members of the cancer research community selected three winners, all under the age of 50. They will present their work at a series of lectures hosted by MSK in March 2022.

As well as his UCLH consultant role, Professor Swanton is also Chair of Personalised Medicine at UCL, group leader at the UCL Cancer Institute and the Francis Crick Institute, chief clinician at Cancer Research UK. He was recognised alongside Ralph J DeBerardinis, professor at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern and investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Sun Hur, Oscar M Schloss Professor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital and investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Professor Charles Swanton.jpg
Professor Charles Swanton

Professor Swanton said: “It is a huge honour to receive the MSK Cancer Center Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research and to share it with two such talented and inspiring researchers. I work with incredible scientists at the UCL Cancer Institute, UCL CRUK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence and the Francis Crick Institute that have made this work possible. The central support from my amazing NHS colleagues, especially the UCLH thoracic oncology team and clinical collaborators across 13 UK hospitals, have enabled the translation of our laboratory studies of cancer evolution over the last decade, leading to the recognition of our work. I’m really excited to continue to attempt to understand more about how cancer evolves and find ways to block the path of tumours before they grow, spread and develop drug resistance. Long-term support from UCLH Biomedical Research Centre, UCL, Crick and CRUK have all been central to our laboratory developments.”

Professor Geoff Bellingan, UCLH medical director for surgery and cancer board, said: “Charlie is a leading light in his field and passionate about his research to understand tumour biology, why some patients develop drug resistance and to find new ways to treat cancer. This award is well-deserved recognition for him and his colleagues.”