Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS

CEO, The Institute of Cancer Research
Professor of Molecular Biology,
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center,
San Francisco, California

Alan Ashworth earned a PhD in Biochemistry at the University College in London. Dr. Ashworth, a translational biologist and laboratory researcher, has been a Komen Scholar since 2010. Dr. Ashworth’s research focuses on understanding breast cancer genetics and applying what he learns to change the way patients are treated. He was a key part of the team that identified the BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility gene, which is linked to an increased risk of some types of cancer. Ten years later, Dr. Ashworth found a way to kill off BRCA1- and 2-related tumor cells by treating them with PARP inhibitors, which amplifies the damage caused by the broken DNA repair machinery in those cells. Dr. Ashworth’s research aims to identify genes and proteins that can be targeted with drugs to cause death of breast tumor cells, and identify which patients should get which treatments with the goal of identifying new therapy options for breast cancer patients. His current research reflects his passion for the development of personalized cancer medicine, translating laboratory studies into improvements in patient care.
Dr. Ashworth is an elected member of EMBO and the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

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