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Centre for Evolution and Cancer

The Centre for Evolution and Cancer at The Institute of Cancer Research is applying Charles Darwin’s principle of natural selection within ecosystems to our understanding of why we develop cancer and why it is so difficult to treat.

Video: Professor Mel Greaves launches the Centre for Evolution and Cancer

Researchers at the centre are answering three big questions in cancer medicine: why are humans so vulnerable to cancer; what determines the unpredictable development of cancers in the body over time; and why is drug resistance so frequent?

Computational biologists, geneticists, cell biologists and clinical scientists are working together to explore exciting new avenues of cancer-related evolutionary research. Researchers are identifying the genetic diversity within individual tumours, and exploring the use of genetic profiling of tumours as fingerprints that could predict progression of disease, metastases or drug resistance.

Professor Trevor Graham is the Director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer and Leader of the Genomics and Evolutionary Dynamics laboratory. Other researchers at the centre include Professor Sir Mel Greaves, Dr Marco Bezzi, and Dr Alejandra Bruna

The Centre was established with support from a Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust.

Scientific aims

The Centre has been set up under the leadership of Professor Mel Greaves to answer the question of why is cancer so common, and why is the disease so often resistant to treatment?

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Meet the centre's team leaders

The centre brings together leading researchers from the ICR to thwart the evolutionary resilience of cancer in order to reduce the burden of cancer on society.

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The Darwin Cancer Blog

Led by Professor Mel Greaves, this blog provides a forum for the discussion of how an evolutionary perspective is changing thinking about cancer.

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The Centre has ongoing recruitment for students (PhD), post-doctoral, and scientific officers (technical level) including bioinformatics posts. For more information contact Professor Andrea Sottoriva

Help fund exciting programme of research in our new Centre

Our researchers have now moved in to the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery to start their urgent work on creating more and better drugs for cancer patients.