Professor Paul Workman

The quest for new cancer therapies

Professor Paul Workman is the Chief Executive and President of The Institute of Cancer Research, London. He leads a team in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics which is carrying out pioneering work to discover new drugs to treat cancer and understand how cancer drugs work.

By looking into the biology of cancer cells, Professor Workman is finding new ways to target cancer cells with drugs, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. To do this, his team are studying tumour cells in the lab to find molecular or genetic weaknesses that make them different to healthy cells, such as faulty signalling pathways, which could also make them vulnerable to treatment.

After finding the most promising targets, Professor Workman’s team will then search for and test out molecules that could act on them and kill the cancer cells. The best potential drugs will then be scrutinised in pre-clinical tests before being taken into clinical trials in people, potentially leading to better, kinder treatments.

The ultimate aim of Professor Workman’s research is to help develop ways to tailor treatments to each patient’s individual cancer, leading to fewer side effects and helping more people will survive their disease.

See Professor Workman talk about cancer drug targets here


All cancer types
Cancer biology
Drug development
Drug discovery
Pre-clinical research

The Institute of Cancer Research, London.