Cancer Research UK scientist honoured by the Royal Society

In collaboration with the Press Association

A Cancer Research UK scientist has been recognised for his groundbreaking work on the fundamental building blocks of life and how they influence cancer.

Professor Steve Jackson FRS has received the Royal Society's Buchanan Medal for his outstanding contributions to understanding DNA repair and DNA damage response signalling pathways.

Professor Jackson, head of Cancer Research UK Laboratories at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, was among a number of scientists honoured by the Royal Society at its 2011 Awards, Medals and Prize Lectures event on July 19.

Funded by Cancer Research UK for the last 15 years, Professor Jackson has been looking into how cells use certain proteins to signal the presence of damage to DNA, and how they go about repairing themselves.

Some of his research has already contributed to the development of new cancer treatments that are being used to treat women with breast and ovarian cancer in clinical trials. These trials are evaluating how well drugs called PARP inhibitors work in cancers caused by particular faults in DNA repair genes.

In 2009 he was named the inaugural Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Innovator of the Year.

This year's Royal Society ceremony saw experts honoured for achievements in a wide variety of research fields, all with one thing in common - that their work has profound implications for others in their field and society as a whole.

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said: "We're very pleased to be able to recognise these outstanding scientists in this way. The Society's awards and medals are a crucial part of our work in highlighting excellence in science across the disciplines. This year's recipients represent the very best science taking place across the globe."

Copyright Press Association 2011