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Meet the key researchers

Read about some of the scientists who will be working in our Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery. Passionate about finding the next wave of targeted drugs and immunotherapies, their work could lead to the treatments of the future.

Cancer is clever, and can adapt and evolve to evade treatment. Here at the ICR, we have a superb body of talent and knowledge in cancer evolution. We want to combine this expertise with our drug discoverers, our big data specialists and our top class clinicians in a cutting-edge, collaborative building, to deliver solutions for cancer drug resistance through excellent team science.

Professor Sir Mel Greaves

As one of the world’s most eminent cancer scientists, Professor Mel Greaves has had a huge influence on our understanding of childhood leukaemia. Since joining the ICR in 1984, he has built his career on viewing the disease – and cancer more broadly – through the lens of evolutionary biology. Moving his research to the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery will allow his work to have even greater impact.



Professor Andrea Sottoriva

As an expert in bioinformatics – having spent his early career in astrophysics – Professor Andrea Sottoriva is breaking new ground applying genomics to cancer. His team is applying skills in computer science and mathematics to big datasets, seeking out the evolutionary patterns that guide cancer’s development, and will play a key role in the vibrant culture of the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery.

“The ICR has a collaborative and dynamic environment. Scientists and clinicians from different disciplines sit together to tackle the challenges we have in cancer medicine, each one providing a different and unique angle to the problem,” says Professor Sottoriva.


Dr Olivia Rossanese

Dr Rossanese is Interim Director of our Cancer Therapeutics Unit, which is the leading academic drug discovery unit in the world – responsible for producing 20 cancer drugs since 2005, 11 of which have entered clinical trials. Along with her team, she is due to enter the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery. 


Professor Ian Collins

Professor Ian Collins is Head of Chemistry and leads a medicinal chemistry team and is a key member of our Cancer Therapeutics Unit. His team develops molecules which are then used as tools to understand cancer biology and can be developed to make new drugs. He is fascinated by how to make new molecules with useful biological activities. Working in the new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery will improve opportunities for collaboration and exchange of ideas with other teams, and will greatly benefit the part they play in tackling cancer drug resistance.