Science Advisory Board

Sir Gregory Winter, CBE, FRS, FMedSci, HonFRCP

Greg is Master of Trinity College Cambridge and has served the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) as a Head of Division, Deputy Director and Acting Director. His scientific career has been based almost entirely in Cambridge where his work included protein sequencing and nucleic acid sequencing. He later developed technologies for making humanised antibodies and also for making human antibodies in bacteria. Most of the therapeutic antibodies on the market today have been developed using methods devised by him. Greg was a Founder and Director of Cambridge Antibody Technology (acquired by AstraZeneca), a Founder and Director of Domantis (acquired by GSK) and more recently a Founder and Director of Bicycle Therapeutics. Sir Gregory has received numerous international prizes and awards, and in 2004 was knighted for services to Molecular Biology. In 2018 he was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Professor Terence Rabbitts, FRS, FMedSci

Terry is currently Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Oxford. Terry worked in Cambridge from 1973-2006 in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology where he was head of the Division of Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry until 2002. He moved to become Director of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine (from 2006-2010). He is a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization; a Fellow of the Royal Society; and a Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. His scientific work includes pioneering the method of cDNA cloning, mapping human antibody genes, methods for chimeric antibody production and single domains for blocking protein interactions inside cells. He defined the linkage of antibody and T cell receptor genes with cancer-specific chromosomal translocations, identified new families of oncogenes and identified a first gene fusion in a solid tumour. He developed the first gene fusion knock-in and also methods for creating chromosomal translocations de novo. Terry has considerable corporate biotechnology experience gained as chairman of the SAB of Cambridge Antibody Technology and Quadrant Healthcare until their respective IPOs; and as a member of the Domantis SAB until the company’s acquisition by GSK. He has also been a member of the SABs of Orison Genomics, DiThera and Kymab. He is currently a member of the SAB of Avacta and is a co-founder of Orbit Discovery Ltd.

Professor Francesco Di Virgilio

Professor Francesco Di Virgilio is Professor of Clinical Pathology, University of Ferrara, Head of the Postgraduate School in Clinical Pathology and of the PhD School in Molecular Medicine and Pharmacology. Francesco has published over 230 scientific papers, of which over 200 are on purinergic receptor signalling. His corporate experience includes being on the Scientific Advisory Board of Duska Therapeutics Inc. and Affects Pharmaceuticals AG. Francesco obtained a Medical Degree (MD) from the University of Padova. In 1982-3 he was Honorary Research Assistant at the University College London and in 1986-7 a Visiting Fellow, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University, New York, before becoming Associate Professor of Molecular Pathology at the University of Padova in 1988, and Professor of General Pathology at the University of Ferrara in 1992. He was Chairman of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Inflammation (2001-2010), and Deputy-Rector for Research and Technology Transfer of the University of Ferrara (2011-2015). He is a member of the Faculty of 1000, Cell Biology Section, and an Academic Member of European Academy of Tumour Immunology.

Professor Ruth Plummer, MA, DPhil, BMBCh, MD, FRCP 

Ruth Plummer is Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University and an honorary consultant medical oncologist in Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  She is Director of the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre within the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, which is a dedicated clinical trials unit based within the regional cancer centre. She leads the Newcastle Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and also the CRUK Newcastle Cancer Centre.

Her clinical practice involves a phase I all-comers practice, taking responsibility for one of the most active phase I unit’s in the UK. Her research interests are in the field of DNA repair and early phase clinical trials of novel agents, taking the first in class PARP inhibitor into the clinic in 2003, ATR inhibitor in 2012 and MCT1 inhibitor in 2014. This research is  based in the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre and the Northern Institute for Cancer Research of which she is a deputy director.  Nationally she chairs the Cancer Research UK New Agents Committee, and sits as a member of Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Research Committee and until recently Science Committee.  She is a member of the MRC Stratified Medicine Group.

She trained at Cambridge and Oxford Universities obtaining both a medical degree and scientific PhD before moving back home to Newcastle and settling with her family in Northumberland.

Professor Han Chong Toh, BSc (London), MB Bchir (Cambridge), FRCP Edin, FAMS

Dr Toh is Senior Consultant and former Head at the Department of Medical Oncology and now Deputy Director, National Cancer Centre, Singapore.

He is a recipient of the National Clinician Scientist Award for his pioneering work in cell therapy for cancer. He conducted the first cancer vaccine and T cell therapy clinical trials in Singapore, and continues to work actively in the field of cancer immunotherapy, immunology and inflammation. He also had a strong interest in drug development for gastrointestinal cancers including colon and liver cancer. Dr Toh is an Associate Professor and College Master at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. He is also an adjunct Principal Investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR. He was a council member in the Singapore Medical Association and the Singapore College of Physicians.

Dr Toh has published 93 peer review journal papers to date including in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, Nature Genetics, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research and Stem Cells.

He graduated from the University of London, UK with an intercalated Bachelor of Science in ‘Infection and Immunity’ from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School and qualified as a medical doctor from University of Cambridge, UK. Dr Toh obtained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 2003. He received his medical oncology fellowship training at the Singapore General Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA and at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA. Dr Toh is also alumni at the Harvard Business School. He is currently the vice-chairman of the Oncology Academic Clinical Program (ACP) for Education.