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November 03, 2015.
Cancer biologist Professor Mel Greaves has been awarded the Cancer Research UK Lifetime Achievement Award for his work investigating the causes of childhood leukaemia.
Professor Greaves has worked at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, for 30 years; he became interested in cancer research after a tour of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London in the mid-1970s. He then began his lifelong work studying leukaemia, aiming to improve diagnosis and treatment options for patients and find a way to prevent the disease. He worked at what became the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute before moving to The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in 1984.
Professor Greaves, now Director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, commented: “Unpicking the complexities of biology, and cancer in particular, requires an interesting mix of creativity, persistence and teamwork. I am particularly pleased that the evolutionary principles I and my colleagues have applied to leukaemia have shed considerable light on its natural history and likely cause and have proved broadly applicable to cancer in general. Childhood leukaemia was once a universally fatal disease but is now curable in most patients. Our research highlights that it is potentially preventable.”