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Professor Kevin Harrington

Head of Division and Group Leader

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Professor Kevin Harrington is Head of the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging and studies the use of biologically targeted agents, in combination with treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, to target cancer cells selectively. He is a specialist in head and neck cancer and in melanoma, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Radiologists. Group: Magnetic Resonance Group: Targeted Therapy ORCID 0000-0002-6014-348X


Professor Kevin Harrington studied medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, and began focusing on head and neck cancer while a PhD student at Hammersmith Hospital. His PhD thesis was on the subject of liposomally-targeted radiosensitisers in head and neck cancer, including both pre-clinical and translational clinical studies. 

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He completed postdoctoral research in Professor Richard Vile’s laboratory at the Molecular Medicine Programme in the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, with a specific focus on gene therapy and viral gene delivery. He joined the ICR in 2001 as Team Leader in Targeted Therapy within the Section of Cell and Molecular Biology under the leadership of Professor Chris Marshall. He was appointed as Non-Time-Limited (Tenured) Faculty in 2008, Reader in 2010 and Professor in 2012.

Professor Harrington specialises in developing new treatments using biologically-targeted agents (such as viruses, antibodies and small molecules) that selectively destroy cancer cells and activate anti-tumour immune responses. He is Professor of Biological Cancer Therapies at The Institute of Cancer Research and an honorary consultant oncologist at the Royal Marsden (RMH) and St George’s Hospital.

Professor Harrington was appointed as Head of the ICR’s Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging in 2013. He is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator (elected in 2016) and leads the Targeted Physical Therapies theme within the RMH/ICR Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Harrington is the national chair of the CRUK Advanced Radiotherapy Technologies Network Accelerator (ART-NET) and has held a CRUK programme grant for research in head and neck cancer since 2011. He is Director of the CRUK/Wellcome Clinical Research PhD studentship programme at ICR and co-chairs the Research Sub-Committee of the ICR/Imperial College CRUK Major Centre.

Professor Harrington’s laboratory research team focuses on a number of themes at the interface between biologically-targeted agents and standard-of-care therapies, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In the clinic, he leads research in oncolytic virotherapies, targeted small molecule inhibitors, immune checkpoint inhibitors and small molecule activators of innate immune responses.

Professor Harrington is a member of the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre, which brings together leading researchers in engineering, physical sciences, life sciences and medicine to develop innovative ways to address challenges in cancer.

Convergence Science Centre