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Research Team

Action Against Cancer is proud to support many talented and dedicated scientists at Imperial College London, the University of Sussex and the University of Manchester. A sample of these hardworking scientists is shown here.

Professor Justin Stebbing

Professor of Cancer Medicine and Oncology, Consultant Oncologist, Imperial College and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Headshot of smiling man in a suit Professor Justin Stebbing trained in medicine at Trinity College, University of Oxford, and continued his oncology career at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the US, The Royal Marsden and St Bartholomew's Hospitals and now through Imperial College and the aligned Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Dr Stebbing has published over 600 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as the Lancet, New England Journal, Blood, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Annals of Internal Medicine. His focus at Imperial College is on new therapies in cancer, and the systemic management of patients with solid malignancies. His laboratory work is concentrated on new druggable target discovery.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Pathologists, and sits on the advisory Boards of a number of international cancer committees. He was appointed the government's first oncology professor funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – the mechanism the government uses to fund research through the NHS. In 2016, Professor Stebbing was internationally recognised with his appointment as co-Editor-in-Chief of Oncogene (Nature Publishing Group's cancer journal) and election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Professor Georgios Giamas

Professor of Cancer Cell Signalling (Biochemistry), The University of Sussex

Headshot smiling dark haired man with beard in a suit Professor Georgios Giamas studied at the National University of Athens in Greece and at the University of Ulm in Germany. At Imperial College London he was awarded the Junior Research Fellowship and the following year was appointed Research Team Leader.

At the University of Sussex since 2015, he is now a Professor of Cancer Cell Signalling in the department of Biochemistry and Biomedicine, while holding a Visiting Professor position at Imperial College. Professor Giamas is also the Head of Department for Biochemistry and Biomedicine at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex.

The Giamas laboratory focuses on the identification and elucidation of the role of proteins implicated in the progression of cancer and the development of novel therapeutic targets. Their translational research laboratory combines a variety of molecular, cellular and biochemical techniques, models and patients' specimens to study relevant pathways in cancer. The research links ‘bench work to bedside’ and could have an enormous impact for patients while at the same time supporting the scientific community.

Dr Leandro Castellano

Associate Professor, RNA Biology (Biochemistry), The University of Sussex

Grey haired beard man in glasses and lab coat Dr Leandro Castellano studied in Italy at the Universities of Salento and La Sapienza in Rome. He was at Imperial College London for 12 years, and was appointed as Team Leader at the Division of Surgery and Cancer.

He has been at the University of Sussex since 2019 where he is an Associate Professor in RNA Biology, and is the Designated Individual under the Human Tissue Act at the School of Life Sciences. Dr Castellano also holds an honorary position at Imperial College London as a visiting Reader.

Dr Castellano’s group focuses on a class of molecule called noncoding RNA (ncRNA). They are working to identify ncRNAs and novel pathways involved in cancer growth or treatment resistance that could be targeted with new therapy. In addition, they aim to establish whether these molecules could be used as biomarkers to assist earlier diagnosis and monitoring treatment response.

Dr Biancastella Cereser

Research Associate, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College London

Lady with glasses and hair tired back in lab coat Dr Biancastella Cereser studied in Italy at the University of Padua and at the National Cancer Institute. She was at Queen Mary University of London for ten years, where she developed particular expertise in the genetic analysis of epithelial premalignant diseases.

Dr Cereser is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She joined Imperial College London in 2016, where her research aims to understand the reasons why pregnancy can influence a woman’s risk to develop breast cancer.

In the medical community, it is known that giving birth at different ages is one of the risk factors for breast cancer: having a child before the age of 24 is considered beneficial compared to having a child after 35, or even to not having a child at all. Younger mothers in fact have less chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in their older life compared to older mothers, or women without children. But the phenomenon is more complex, as at any age, there is also a high chance of developing breast cancer during or after pregnancy. To better understand the correlation between pregnancy, age and cancer, Dr Cereser’s team analyse the DNA from cells of the healthy breast of both mothers and non-mothers of different ages to find DNA mutations.