The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has named Professor Johann de Bono as Regius Professor of Cancer Research.
The award is a significant mark of esteem for Professor de Bono, and recognises his outstanding and world-leading research in the clinical development of personalised cancer treatments.
In June, the ICR was among a select group of 12 institutions across the UK to be awarded a highly prestigious Regius Professorship by Her Majesty the Queen to mark her 90th birthday.
The new Regius Professorship is the first associated with efforts to understand and defeat cancer, and its creation recognises both the academic excellence and the real-world impact of the ICR’s work.
Regius Professorships are rare awards bestowed by the Sovereign by Royal Warrant to recognise exceptionally high-quality research at an institution. Prior to these awards only 14 had been granted since the reign of Queen Victoria, including 12 to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.
Professor de Bono adopts the new title in honour of his exceptional contributions to cancer research and the benefits his work has had for patients. He is also Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at the ICR and an honorary consultant at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. He is the Head of the ICR’s and The Royal Marsden’s joint Drug Development Unit, and Cancer Therapeutics theme lead for our Biomedical Research Centre.
Professor de Bono specialises in developing new molecularly targeted therapies and focuses especially on improving treatment for prostate cancer patients. He has been involved in developing more than 100 potential new drugs over the past decade, several of which are now available to patients.
He led pivotal clinical trials for the prostate cancer drugs abiraterone, cabazitaxel and enzalutamide, which have benefited hundreds of thousands of men with advanced prostate cancer, and he is currently involved in more than 30 innovative, early-stage clinical trials of new cancer treatments.
A rare honour
Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of the ICR, said: "Professor Johann de Bono is an outstanding clinician scientist and a truly worthy recipient of the prestigious title of Regius Professor of Cancer Research.
“His exceptional work to understand and treat prostate cancer has led to new drugs that are offering real benefits to patients with the disease, and which not only prolong life but also enhance quality of life.
“The Regius Professorship is a rare honour that recognises the ICR’s outstanding academic achievements in understanding cancer and the impact of our innovative research on cancer patients and society as a whole. It is a tribute to our pioneering research and the many discoveries made by ICR scientists in recent years and throughout our history, which have moved us closer towards defeating cancer.”