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ICR Scientist Receives Cancer Research UK Lifetime Achievement Prize

 Thursday 28 July 2011

Professor Chris Marshall has been named as the recipient of this year’s Cancer Research UK Lifetime Achievement Prize*.

Professor Marshall, from The Institute of Cancer Research, is a world-leading expert on cell signalling and the mechanisms that lead to cancer. His findings have transformed our understanding of the disease and paved the way for a new range of treatments.

Commenting on the awarding of the prize, Professor Marshall said: “It's a great honour to receive this award. It would not have happened without the contributions of the people in my laboratory and the support of The Institute of Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK.”

His early work, in collaboration with others, identified the N-Ras gene, which has been shown to play a critical role in a range of cancers. He followed this by studying how N-Ras and other related genes transmit signals in the cell to the nucleus – the control centre of the cell. In recent years Professor Marshall’s work has focussed on the signals that control how cancer cells spread around the body.

As a result of this work there are a number of anti-cancer treatments in development which target signalling in cancer cells and are already showing great potential in treating skin cancers.

Professor Marshall is currently Professor of Cell Biology at the ICR and a Cancer Research UK Gibb Fellow.

Alan Ashworth, Chief Executive of the ICR, said: "My friend Chris Marshall's work has hugely increased our knowledge of cell signalling pathways, an important area of research that is paving the way for this new era of personalised medicine. This is truly a well deserved award and an honour for The Institute of Cancer Research."

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re delighted to award Professor Marshall this year's Cancer Research UK Lifetime Achievement Prize. The prize recognises his pivotal work in understanding how the behaviour of cancer cells is controlled by a range of communication pathways. We’re now beginning to see the benefits of this research that will hopefully one day have a real impact in helping cancer patients.”

Professor Marshall will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Prize at this year’s NCRI Cancer Conference on 6 November after which he will deliver a plenary lecture. 




For media enquiries please contact Simon Shears in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8054 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.

Notes to editors

*The recipient receives an honorarium of £25,000 to support their future work, a commemorative trophy, and free attendance at the NCRI Conference (held on 6-9 November 2011), where the presentation ceremony will take place.


The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)

•           The ICR is Europe’s leading cancer research centre

•           The ICR has been ranked the UK’s top academic research centre, based on the results of the Higher Education Funding Council’s Research Assessment Exercise

•           The ICR works closely with partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to ensure patients immediately benefit from new research. Together the two organisations form the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe

•           The ICR has charitable status and relies on voluntary income

•           As a college of the University of London, the ICR also provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction

•           Over its 100-year history, the ICR’s achievements include identifying the potential link between smoking and lung cancer which was subsequently confirmed, discovering that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer and isolating more cancer-related genes than any other organisation in the world

For more information visit

 About the NCRI Cancer Conference

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference is the UK’s major forum for showcasing the best British and international cancer research. The Conference offers unique opportunities for networking and sharing knowledge by bringing together world leading experts from all cancer research disciplines. The seventh annual NCRI Cancer Conference is taking place from the 6-9 November 2011 at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool. For more information visit

About the NCRI

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) was established in April 2001. It is a UK-wide partnership between the government, charity and industry which promotes co-operation in cancer research among the 22 member organisations for the benefit of patients, the public and the scientific community.  For more information visit

NCRI members are: the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI); Association for International Cancer Research; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Breakthrough Breast Cancer; Breast Cancer Campaign; Cancer Research UK; CHILDREN with CANCER UK, Department of Health; Economic and Social Research Council; Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research; Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research; Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie Cancer Care; Medical Research Council; Northern Ireland Health and Social Care (Research & Development Office); Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation; Scottish Government Health Directorates (Chief Scientist Office); Tenovus; The Prostate Cancer Charity; Welsh Assembly Government (National Institute for Social Care and Health Research); The Wellcome Trust; and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

About Cancer Research UK

•           Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research

•           The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.  This work is funded entirely by the public.

•           Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last forty years.

•           Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.

•           Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7121 6699 or visit

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