Professor Fran Balkwill

Advances in Cell and Tissue Culture - Fran Balkwill
We are delighted to announce that Professor Fran Balkwill OBE (CENTRE LEAD, CENTRE FOR CANCER AND INFLAMMATION /INSTITUTE OF BIOENGINEERING DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH STRATEGY, QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY LONDON) will give a keynote presentation within the "Developments Within In Vitro Cancer Research" session at ACTC Cambridge.


  1. The Tumour Microenvironment
  2. Inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the tumour microenvironment
  3. 'Ovarian' cancer with a focus on high grade serous and clear cell subtypes
  4. Public engagement with biomedical science and science policy


Research Summary

I am Professor of Cancer Biology at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, where I lead the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation and the Cytokine and Cancer group within that Centre. I study the links between cancer and inflammation and research ways of translating this to clinical trial.

In 2006, I was made a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, being elected a member of its Council later in the same year. I am a frequent plenary and keynote speaker at international meetings, such as Gordon and Keystone conferences and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

I am also actively involved in communication of science to non-specialist audiences, especially young people. I have written thirteen science books for children on cell and molecular biology, with titles such as Enjoy Your Cells and The Egg and Sperm Race.

I am the Director of the Centre of the Cell, a biomedical science centre for children, educational website, and widening participation and outreach project in Whitechapel. The website was launched in March 2007 and the physical Centre opened in September 2009. As of October 2014 there have been over 85,000 participants in Centre of the Cell activities (

I am a non-parliamentary board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, POST and Chair of Understanding Animal Research (UAR). I am on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and I was awarded an OBE in the 2008 Queen's Birthday Honours list.

My research is focused on the links between cancer and inflammation, being especially interested in translating knowledge of cancer biology into new biological treatments for cancer and in the role that inflammatory cytokines play in cancer promotion.