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Department of Oncology researchers Dr Andrew Blackford and Dr Simon Lord have been appointed as Fellows of Oriel College.

Simon lord and andrew blackford © Bernard Galewski, bernardiwo.com

The Research Fellowships, which provide research support for the UK’s leading scientists and clinicians working in the area of breast cancer research, were launched this year by Against Breast Cancer, a charity based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

The two Fellows received their awards at a celebratory evening at Oriel College attended by supporters of the charity, scientists from Oxford and Southampton, local dignitaries and alumni of Oriel College.

Simon Lord’s clinical research interests focus on the development of new drugs to treat breast cancer and he is principal and chief investigator on several clinical trials of novel therapies and cancer imaging techniques. He has a collaborative ‘laboratory to clinic’ research programme which uses genetic and metabolic approaches and tumour cells grown directly from patient samples to characterise the behaviour of breast cancers that arise in patients with obesity and diabetes.

Simon Lord said:

The Against Breast Cancer Research Fellowship will be instrumental in supporting my work with a view to identifying promising drug targets in breast tumours that have developed in patients that have altered host metabolism. The line of sight is to design clinical trials that assess novel therapies in this group of patients

Andrew Blackford’s research interests focus on understanding how cells carry out DNA repair by homologous recombination, which is often deficient in hereditary breast cancers and can therefore be exploited by anti-cancer drugs to specifically kill tumour cells.

Talking of the award, Andrew said,

I’m delighted to become one of the first Against Breast Cancer Fellows at Oriel College. The Fellowship will allow my lab to pursue new avenues of research related to breast cancer that we hope will increase our understanding of how to treat patients in future.