Vacancies on Council

Nominations invited for Secretary and Treasurer roles

Vacancies on Council

We are inviting nominations from both the membership and within Council for the following BNOS Officer roles:

Please see our Vacancies page for further information.

Meet our Council Members

Open/close the panels by clicking on the names and find out more about our Council members.

Professor David Walker (President)

Professor David Walker

Professor David Walker

Professor Paediatric Oncology
Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NUH NHS Trust



Current Positions

  • Member SIOPEurope Board 2009-
  • Member SIOPE Brain Tumour Committee (Representative for Training)
  • Member Steering Group All Party Parliamentary Group for Brain and Spinal Tumours
  • Co Chairman International Consortium of Low Grade Glioma

Previous positions

  • Chair Brain Tumour Clinical Trials Committee UK Childrens Cancer Study Group (UKCCSG) 1990-1997
  • Chair Societé Internationale d'Oncologie Pediatrique (SIOP) Brain Tumour Committee 1998-2000

Research Interests

  • Clinical trials of novel therapies in brain and spinal tumours
  • Health Services Research into Pathways to diagnosis of CNS tumours in childhood and adolescents
  • Optimizing drug delivery to CNS tumours
  • Low grade glioma of childhood
  • Regional brain injury syndromes in childhood brain tumours

SIOPE Board Member
Avenue E.Mounier 83
B-1200 BRUSSELS-Belgium

Mr David Jellinek (Vice President)

David JellinekMr David Jellinek


  • Consultant Neurosurgeon Royal Hallamshire Hospital Sheffield
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer Neurosurgery University of Sheffield


FRCS (Surg. Neurol.)  1994
MD (Cantab)  1995
FRCS 1985
MB BS 1982
Bachelor of Medical Science 1979


Current research involves collaboration with the University of Sheffield in imaging brain tumours at 3Tesla to assess early predictive signs of malignant transformation of low grade glioma.


Neurosurgical Oncology: I am Lead clinician of the South Yorkshire Neuro Oncology MDT. I am chair of the DOH rare tumour group. I introduced 3 dimensional real time intraoperative brain scanning with high resolution ultrasound to the UK – a rapid a inexpensive practical alternative to intraoperative MRI scanning.


Wilkinson ID, Romanowski CA, Jellinek DA, Morris J, Griffiths PD
Motor functional MRI for pre-operative and intraoperative neurosurgical guidance.
Br J Radiol. 2003 Feb;76(902):98-103

Wharton SB, Hibberd S, Eward KL, Crimmins D, Jellinek DA, Levy D, Stoeber K, Williams GH.
DNA replication licensing and cell cycle kinetics of oligodendroglial tumours.
Br J Cancer. 2004 Jul 19;91(2):262-9.

Henson JD, Hannay JA, McCarthy SW, Royds JA, Yeager TR, Robinson RA, Wharton SB, Jellinek DA, Arbuckle SM, Yoo J, Robinson BG, Learoyd DL, Stalley PD, Bonar SF, Yu D, Pollock RE, Reddel RR.
A robust assay for alternative lengthening of telomeres in tumors shows the significance of alternative lengthening of telomeres in sarcomas and astrocytomas.
Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Jan 1;11(1):217-25

Chen YJ, Hakin-Smith V, Teo M, Xinarianos GE, Jellinek DA, Carroll T, McDowell D, MacFarlane MR, Boet R, Baguley BC, Braithwaite AW, Reddel RR, Royds JA.
Association of mutant TP53 with alternative lengthening of telomeres and favorable prognosis in glioma.
Cancer Res. 2006 Jul 1;66(13):6473-6

Wilkinson ID, Jellinek DA, Levy D, Giesel FL, Romanowski CA, Miller BA, Griffiths PD
Dexamethasone and enhancing solitary cerebral mass lesions: alterations in perfusion and blood-tumor barrier kinetics shown by magnetic resonance imaging.  

Neurosurgery. 2006 Apr;58(4):640-6; discussion 640-6.


Dr Jeremy Rees (Honorary Treasurer)

Dr Jeremy Rees

Dr Jeremy ReesI am the Lead Clinician for Neuro-oncology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery where I have been a Consultant Neurologst since 1999. I also work at University College London Hospital, Royal Marsden Hospital, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. I have a special interest and expertise in looking after patients with brain and spinal tumours particularly low-grade gliomas e.g. astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas. I also see patients with cancer who have neurological problems such as neuropathy due to chemotherapy, radiotherapy side effects and paraneoplastic syndromes. 


I qualified in 1988 from University College and Middlesex Medical School with distinctions in Medicine, Surgery and Therapeutics. After general professional training in various postgraduate London teaching hospitals, I was awarded a prestigious MRC Clinical Training Fellowship at Guy's Hospital, investigating the association between C jejuni infection and Guillain-Barre syndrome completing a PhD in 1985. I then did my neurology training at the Royal Free Hospital, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, St Thomas' Hospital and neuro-oncology training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. 

I am the only neurologically trained neuro-oncologist in England, Ireland and Wales and am referred patients with neurological problems due to brain tumours or other cancers from all over the country and from abroad. I am a member of the National Cancer Research Network Brain Tumour Clinical Studies Group and worked with the Department of Health to draw up national guidelines for the referral of patients with suspected brain tumours. 

I have extensive teaching experience both of medical students and qualified doctors, have given invited lectures at national and international neurology conferences and provided expert witness reports in medical negligence cases involving misdiagnosis and treatment of brain tumours. 

I have published over fifty papers and reviews in scientific and medical journals, have contributed chapters on brain tumours and neurological complications of cancer to various reference books including the Oxford Textbook of Medicine and have recently edited a new book on neuro-oncology

For further information please see my website.


Professor Silvia Marino (Honorary Secretary)

Professor Silvia MarinoProfessor Silvia Marino

Silvia Marino is Professor of Neuropathology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London and also Honorary Consultant Neuropathologist at Barts and The London NHS Trust.

After studying Medicine at the University of Turin in Italy, Professor Marino trained in Neuropathology and Histopathology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She trained in molecular genetics with Professor Anton Berns at The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow of the European Community studying the role of the tumour suppressor Rb and p53 in the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma in genetically engineered mouse models.

She established her own laboratory research group in 2002 firstly at the Institute of Pathology, University of Zurich and then since 2006 at the Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science in London, studying basic cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling the development of the central nervous system and how these mechanisms can contribute to developmental neuropathology and tumourigenesis when deregulated.


Professor Sebastian Brandner

Professor Sebastian BrandnerProfessor Sebastian Brandner

Professor and Chair of Neuropathology
Division of Neuropathology and
Dept. of Neurodegenerative Disease
UCL Institute of Neurology
Queen Square
London WC1N 3BG
United Kingdom

Clinical activity and diagnostic service :
The Department of Neuropathology at Queen Square is one of the leading academic and diagnostic neuropathology departments in the UK. The Department provides service for the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospital, and receives a substantial number of national referrals.

The Department contributes to five weekly MDTs and carries out regular audits and a weekly case review forum.

Four honorary consultants and one locum consultant contribute to service and to research. Their involvement in research projects, leadership in clinical diagnostics and their research and publication activity is an indicator for the contribution of the Department of Neuropathology to the outstanding role of Queen Square in British clinical neurosciences.

We provide a comprehensive molecular diagnostic service for brain tumours. These tests help (i) improving our diagnoses and they are important to tell clinical oncologists how the patients may respond to chemotherapy.

We currently offer tests for the following gene mutations or chromosomal losses: 1p19q, EGFR amplification , EGFRvIII mutation, Chr 10q LOH )PTEN locus) and IDH-1/IDH-2 sequencing. We also routinely test all gliomas for MGMT promoter methylation.

The aim for 2010 is to test for the BRAF fusion gene in pilocytic astrocytomas (60-70% of PA are reported to have the fusion gene mutation). Although this has no direct prognostic implication, it will improve our diagnostic accuracy.

We provide these services to all patients operated on intrinsic brain tumours at the national Hospital and for referred cases from the UK and abroad.

Research Interests
Brain tumours and neural stem cells: Understanding the histogenesis and molecular pathogenesis of brain tumours. We are using transgenic mouse models to modify tumour suppressor genes in adult stem cells and trace the development of brain tumours.

research on brain tumours

We have recently established a mouse model for brain tumours, by inactivating tumour suppressor genes in the neural stem cell compartment. By injecting Cre-expressing virus into the ventricles of the mice the targeted genes are recombined only in cells located near the sub-ventricular zone (SVZ) which contains the glioma is induced in mice where PTEN and P53 or the trio of genes PTEN, P53 and Rb are targeted. We also have shown that in vitro recombined neural stem cells (i.e. neurospheres) of the same genotypes can be grown to tumour spheres in vitro and then grafted into the brain of a mouse. These grafts grow to brain tumours with an almost identical morphological phenotype compared those arising in vivo.

Development of a translational model for brain tumours: We will take these findings further and are currently translating them to human brain tumours. We will investigate whether human tumour-derived, cultured cells can be grafted into a mouse brain and yet mimic the primary human brain tumour. This system will enable us to study human tumour biology in a model very closely resembling the primary tumour. It will further allow us to test anti cancer therapies. It will further allow us to test anti cancer therapies. Ca 100 tumours are banked every year and from 30 tumours we establish cultures and cell lines.

brain banking

Recent funding:

2006-2011 Role of Neural stem cells in CNS tumourigenesis
BRT Fellowship
2006-2009 PhD studentship (Alexander Swales); Role of Neural stem cells in CNS tumourigenesis
Brain Research Trust
2006-2009 PhD studentship (Pedro Rodenas); Transgenic mouse model for aberrant Wnt signaling in the CNS
MRC capacity building studentship
2006-2009 Wnt signalling in Neural stem cell differentiation and Tumourigenesis of the CNS
Samantha Dixon Research Trust
2008-2011 Genomic and expression profiling of brain tumours Best research for Best health / UCLH comprehensive Biomedical Centre
2009-2010 High Field Imaging of a human glioma xenograft model, (BRT, Brain Tumour Fund)


UCL Institute of Neurology; Division of Neuropathology:
UCL Neurosciences
MRC Neuromuscular Centre (UCL)
University College London Hospitals

Relevant Publications:

  1. Jacques TS, Swales A, Brzozowski MJ, Henriquez NV, Linehan JM, Mirzadeh Z, O'Malley C, Naumann H, Alvarez-Buylla A, Brandner S. (2009): Combinations of genetic mutations in the adult neural stem cell compartment determine brain tumour phenotypes EMBO J. Nov 19. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Robinson JP, Vanbrocklin MW, Guilbeault AR, Signorelli DL, Brandner S, Holmen SL (2009) Activated BRAF induces gliomas in mice when combined with Ink4a/Arf loss or Akt activation. Oncogene. Oct 26. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Nayeem N, Kerr F, Naumann H, Linehan J, Lovestone S, and Brandner S (2007) Hyperphosphorylation of tau and neurofilaments and activation of CDK5 and ERK1/2 in PTEN-deficient cerebella. Mol Cell Neurosci, 34, 400-408.
  4. Wadsworth JD, Joiner S, Linehan JM, Cooper S, Powell C, Mallinson G, Buckell J, Gowland I, Asante EA, Budka H, Brandner S, and Collinge J (2006) Phenotypic heterogeneity in inherited prion disease (P102L) is associated with differential propagation of protease-resistant wild-type and mutant prion protein. Brain, 129, 1557-1569.
  5. Haegele L, Ingold B, Naumann H, Tabatabai G, Ledermann B, and Brandner S (2003) Wnt signalling inhibits neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells by controlling bone morphogenetic protein expression. Mol Cell Neurosci, 24, 696-708.
Professor Oliver Hanemann

Professor Oliver HanemannProf. Dr. Clemens Oliver Hanemann, M.D.,Ph.D., FRCP

Current position: Chair in clinical neurology Peninusla Medical School
Consultant neurologist and academic lead department of neurology PHNT
Lead Neurologist, Peninsula Neuro oncology network


Sept 2006 Board exam Medical Genetics
Nov 1998 Habilitation for Neurobiology and Neurology
Jan 1996 Board exam Neurology
Jan 1984 - Feb 1985

Thesis (MD/PhD), Inst. of Molecular Neurobiology, University of Hamburg

Oct 1981 - May 1988

Medical school, University of Hamburg, (Würzburg, Glasgow, Johns Hopkins, Harvard)

Employment History

March 2010 - Nov 2010

Assistant medical director R&D Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust

March 2009 - March 2010 Deputy director R&D Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust
Since January 2000

Assistant Professor, PI (Neurobiology/Neurology) University Ulm Neurology consultant

1998 Assistant Professor (Neurobiology /Neurology), Dep.  Neurology, Düsseldorf
Sept 1996 Neurology fellow, Department of Neurology, University of Düsseldorf
Sept 1990 - Sept 1996 Neurology resident, Department of Neurology, University of Düsseldorf
April 1994

Dep. Paediatric Neurology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

February - March 1996 Lab. Neuromorphology, Department of Neurology, University Nijmegen
Sept 1988 - Sept 1990

DFG research fellowship: at the Molecular Neurobiol. Lab, Dep. Neurology, University of Düsseldorf

Peer review experience

Reviewer for the following journals:
J Neuroscience Methods; Neuropediatrics; Neuroscience Letters; PLOS Biology; Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry; Brain, Annals of Neurology, Neurogenetics, Biomed Central, Int J Cancer, Human Mutation, Brain Pathology, Neurobiology of disease, Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer, Human Molecular Genetics, Cancer Res, Oncogene, J Med Gen

• Ad hoc (frequently multiple times) reviewer for the following funding bodies:

Telethon, University Leiden, Bavarian government, Wellcome Trust, Prinses Beatrix Foundation, Childrens Tumour Foundation, Brain Tumour UK, Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care (WORD) Research Funding Scheme, Lord Dowding Fund, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

• Member of funding committees:
Childrens Tumour Foundation
Lord Dowding Fund

• Member of other committees:
Member of the council British Neuro Oncology Society (since October 2010)
Translational subgroup NCRI brain tumour CSG
NCRI brain tumour CSG (since October 2010)
Peninsula Medical School research committee (until November 2010)

Other external recognition
DFG scholarship at the laboratory for molecular Neurobiology, Dep. Neurology, Univ. Düsseldorf, 9/88-9/90
Bennigsen-Foerder award from the state NRW (highest scientific award from the state of NRW)
Previously consultant for Nexgenix pharamaceuticals
Invited to Novartis advisory board on Neurofibromatosis

Recent research grants

RDA PHD studentship, 1/06-1/09, £60808
Northcott Devon Medical Foundation, Verbrauchsmittel, £ 5000
RDA PhD studentship, 10/06-9/09, £61088
ChildrensTumour foundation, Drug Discovery award (2008), 11000$
ChildrensTumour foundation, Drug Discovery award (2009), 11000$
Dr Hadwen Trust (2008) 3 years covering a postdoctoral fellow and consumables, £130065
RDA PhD studentship with Dr Parkinson, £ 60000
PMS internal PhD studentship with Dr Caroll £ 39000
Deafness Research UK (2009) PhD studentship, £ 39349
PI, co-applicant in MND/DeNDRoN multi centre trial (LiCALS) to test Lithium in ALS, MNDA, £394.000
Novartis research fund (2010) £80.000
Hammer Out Brain tumour charity (2010) PhD studentship £36000

Supervisor of 14 Ph.D. and M.D. students (past and present)

Invited talks: 35

Selected papers (peer reviewed)
Sum citationen: 2457,  h-index:22

Spreyer, G. Kuhn, C.O. Hanemann, C. P. Gillen, R. Kuhn, G. Lemke, H.W. Müller, (1991) Axon regulated expression of a Schwann cell mRNA homologous to a growth arrest specific gene, EMBO Journal 10 (12) 3661-3668

Timmerman V., Nelis E, Van Hul W. Nieuwenhuijsen B.W., Chen K.L., Ben Othman K., Cullen B., Leachz R.J., Hanemann C.O., Dejonghe P., Raymakers P., van Ommen G.-J.B., Martin J.J., Müller H.W., Vance J.M., Fischbeck K.H. and Van Broeckhoven C. (1992), The peripheral myelin protein gene pmp22 is Contained within the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A duplication, Nature Genetics 1 171-175

Matsunami N., Smith B., Ballard L., Lensch M.W., Robertson M., Albertson H., Hanemann C.O., Müller H.W., et al. (1992), Peripheral myelin protein-22 gene maps in the duplication in chromosome 17 p11.2 associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A, Nature Genetics 1 176-179

CO Hanemann, Müller HW (1998). Pathogenesis of CMT1A neuropathy, Trends in Neuroscience 21: 282-286

CO Hanemann, Gabreëls-Festen AAWM, Stoll G, Müller HW (1996) Low affinity NGFR expression in CMT1A nerve biopsies. Brain 119: 1461-1469

CO Hanemann, D D´Urso, AAWM Gabreels:Festen, HW Müller (2000). Altered distribution of PMP22 in nerve biopsies from CMT1A patients with different PMP22 mutations, Brain 123:1001-6  

Schulze K, Hanemann CO*, et al. (2002) Transduction of wt-merlin into human schwannomma cells decreases schwannoma cell growth and induces apoptosis. Human Molecular Genetics 11 (1) 69-76 *Corresponding author  

Sperfeld AD, Hein C, Schröder JM, Ludolph AC Hanemann CO  (2002) Occurrence and characterisation of peripheral nerve involvement in Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Brain 125:996-1004

Kämpchen K, Mielke K, Utermark T, Langmesser S, Hanemann CO (2003) Upregulation of the Rac1/JNK signalling pathway in primary human schwannoma cells,  Human Molecular Genetics 12 (11): 1211-1221

Hirokawa J,  Tikoo A, Huynh J, Utermark T, Hanemann CO, Giovannini M, Xiao GH, Testa JR, Wood J,  Maruta H (2004).  A clue to the therapy of neurofibromatosis type 2: NF2/Merlin is a PAK1 inhibitor. Cancer Journal 10 (1): 20-6

Utermark T, Kämpchen K, Haneman CO (2005). Reduced apotosis in Schwannomas, Brain Pathology, 15 (1): 17-22

Hanemann CO, Kämpchen K,  Kaufmann D, Krause BJ. (2005) FDG PET CT of a giant retroperitoneal Schwannoma occurring in an NF2 patient, Arch Neurology, 62: 674-5. 

Utermark T, Schubert SJA, Hanemann CO. (2005) Rearrangements of the intermediate filament GFAP in primary human schwannoma cells, Neurobiol Dis, 19:1-9

Grönholm M, Muranen T, Hanemann CO, Utermark T, Carpen O,.2006 Merlin interacts with the cell cycle regulator Hei10, Oncogene,  25:4389-98

Hirokawa Y, Nakajima H, Hanemann CO, Kurtz A, Frahm S, Mautner V, Maruta H (2005) Signal therapy of NF1-deficient tumor xenograft in mice by anti-PAK1 drug FK228, Cancer Biology and Therapy 4(4): 379-381

Hanemann CO, Bartelt-Kirbach B, Diebold R, Kämpchen K, Langmesser S, Utermark T (2006). Differential gene expression between human Schwannoma and control Schwann cells, J Neuropath Apl Neurobiol, 32:605-14

Hanemann CO, Evans DG (2006). News on the genetics, epidemiology, medical care and translational research of Schwannomas invited review J Neurol 253: 1533-41

Flaiz C, Kämpchen K, Matthies C; Hanermann CO (2007). Actin rich protrusions and non-localised GTPase activation in merlin deficient schwannomas, JNEN, 66:608-616

Hanemann CO  (2008) Magic but treatable? Tumours due to loss of Merlin, Brain, 131:606-15
Ammoun S, Flaiz C, Ristic N, Hanemann CO (2008) Dissecting and targeting receptor-dependent and independent  Erk pathway in human schwannoma, Cancer Research, 68:5236-5245

C. Flaiz, J Chernoff, S Ammoun, JR Peterson, CO Hanemann (2009). Regulation of Rac by PAK in schwannoma, Exp. Neurol, 218:137-144

M Widmer, CO Hanemann J Zajicek, (2008) High concentration s of cannabinoids activate apoptosis in human U373MG glioma cells,J. Neurosci. Res, 86(14):3212-20

C Flaiz, Utermark T, Parkinson D,  Poetsch A, Hanemann CO (2008) Impaired intercellular adhesion and immature adherens junctions in merlin-deficient human primary schwannoma cells, Glia, 56:506-515 

Christine Flaiz, Sylwia Ammoun , Anja Biebl , C Oliver Hanemann  (2009) Altered adhesive structures and their relation to RhoGTPase activation in merlin-deficient schwannoma, Brain Pathology, 19:27-38

D Hilton N Ristic, CO Hanemann (2009) Activation of Erk, Akt and JNK signalling pathway in schwannomas in situ, Histopathology, 55:744-9

S Ammoun, D Hilton, C Matthies, CO Hanemann AZD62244 (2010), a MEK inhibitor, reduces Schwannoma proliferation,Neurobiol Dis, ;37(1):141-6.

S Ammoun CH. Cunliffe, JC. Allen, D Zagzag,  CO Hanemann* and MA Karajannis (2010) EGF Receptor Family Activation and Lapatinib in Vestibular Schwannoma, Neurooncology, epub*corresponding author

Li W, You L, Cooper J, Schiavon G, Zhou L, Ishii R, Pepe-Caprio A, Giovannini M, Long SB, Erdjument-Bromage H, Hanneman CO, Zhou P, Tempst P & Giancotti F (2010). Merlin/NF2 Suppresses Tumorigenesis by Inhibiting the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase CRL4-DCAF1 in the Nucleus, Cell, 140:477-90

S Ammoun and CO Hanemann New Therapeutic Approaches for merlin deficient tumours, emerging molecular targets, Nature Reviews Neurology, invited

S Ammoun, MC Schmid, J Trainer and CO Hanemann, Evaluation of the efficiency of Imatinib and Nilotinib in the inhibition of PDGF-R- mediated ERK and AKT activation and proliferation of human schwannoma, in revision.


Dr Chris Jones
Professor Robert Lea

Professor Robert LeaProfessor Bob Lea is presently a Professor in Neurosciences, and Research Co-ordinator in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Central Lancashire.

His initial research concerned the neurobiology of endocrine/behaviour interactions. During this time he collaborated extensively with the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, and research groups in North America, Europe and Japan.

Since 2003 his research interests shifted to clinical neuroscience and in particular the problem of brain tumour. In this respect he is co-founder of Brain Tumour North West, (2007), a strategic alliance of University and Health institutions throughout the North West of the UK. This enables the region to become a focus for co-ordinated, multi-disciplinary brain tumour research centred on the use of primary tissue.

Bob Lea has published over 100 peer reviewed articles in addition to a number of reviews and book chapters.


Dr Adam Waldman

Dr Adam WaldmanDr Adam Waldman

  • Consultant Neuroradiologist and Honorary Clinical Reader, Imperial College, London
  • Research Director, Imperial Hospitals Imaging Directorate
    Royal College of Radiologists Roentgen Professor 2009

  • Chair: National Cancer Research Network Brain Tumour Imaging Subgroup
  • Member: National Cancer Research Network Brain Tumour Group
    British Society of Neuroradiologists representative to BNOS

I originally studied basic sciences, and undertook a PhD and post-doctoral research in biophysics before training in medicine at Cambridge. My radiology and neuroradiology training was in London, and I have been a consultant since 2001. One of my main research interests is in basic and translational imaging development in neuro-oncology with particular reference to non-invasive tumour characterisation and improved imaging biomarkers for therapeutic development and clinical practice.


Dr Colin Watts

Dr Colin WattsDr Colin Watts


  • HEFCE Senior Clinical Lecturer, Dept Clinical Neurosciences, Cambridge University
  • Honorary Consultant Neurosurgeon Addenbrooke’s’ Hospital.


FRCS (Surg. Neurol.)  2002
PhD (Cantab) 1999
FRCS (Ed) 1995
MB BS 1991
Bachelor of Medical Science 1990


My current research focuses on the similarities between brain cancer stem cells and endogenous adult stem cells. Building on our experience of handling human fetal and adult neural stem cells we have developed the Cambridge Protocol in which we have improved the efficiency of derivation of brain cancer stem cells to nearly 100% for high grade glioma. This has enabled us to begin to characterise these cells and compare them with normal glial progenitors. Using this approach I hope to be able to identify potential targets for further investigation and development leading to novel Phase I studies. I am also investigating the potential of these stem-like cells to predict and facilitate drug response in patients.


Neurosurgical Oncology: I am involved in the development of a brain tumour MDT approach and refinement of the pathway of care in accordance with NICE Cancer guidelines. This has also led to the development of a brain tumour outpatient clinic and counselling service in collaboration with clinical neuro-oncologists. The department has been proactive in recruiting patients to national studies including BR12 and the Cerepro trial and is seeking participation in further trials within the EORTC. Integration of clinical practice with ongoing research programmes has also led to increasing utilisation of surgical specimens including donations to our tumour tissue bank established by Prof Peter Collins. I am also the PI in a Phase 1 trial investigating the safety of using carmustine wafers in patients who have undergone fluorescence-guided tumour resections (GALA-5).


GALA-5 Trial CRUK 2010 - 2012
Characterising Glioma Stem Cells ACT 2009 - 2010
Stem cells in the injured brain MRC G108/507 2003 - 2008
Fate mapping adult stem cells MRC stem cell initiative grant 67437 (with Prof J Fawcett) 2004 - 2007


Committee member NCRI Clinical Trials Group, Brain Tumours 2008
Council Member British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS) 2008
Committee Member NCRI technology sub-group, Brain Tumours 2006 to date
HEFCE Senior Clinical Lecturer 2010 - 2015
MRC Clinician Scientist 2003 - 2008
MRC Clinical Training Fellowship 1996 - 1999


Zhou JW, Raha-Chowhury R, Fawcett JW, Watts C Cytoplasmic Translocation/Nuclear Retention of Olig2 Mediates the Cell Fate Choice for NG2+Olig2+ Progenitors Following Acute Brain Injury. E.J.N. 2009 29; 1853-69.

Fael MT*, Ball SLR*, Zhou JW*, Fawcett JW*, Ichimura K, Collins P, Watts C*§ A system for efficient propagation of brain tumour stem cells. J. Neurosci Methods 2009 176; 192-199.

Clelland,C.D., Barker,R.A., Watts,C. Cell therapy in Huntington’s disease.
Neurosurg. Focus. 24, E9 (2008)

Joannides AJ, Webber DJ, Raineteau O, Kelly C, Irvine KA, Watts C, Rosser AE, Kemp PJ, Blakemore WF, Compston A, Caldwell MA, Allen ND, Chandran S.
Environmental signals regulate lineage choice and temporal maturation of neural stem cells from human embryonic stem cells.
Brain. 2007 May;130(Pt 5):1263-75.

Ozen I, Galichet C, Watts C, Parras C, Guillemot F, Raineteau O.
Proliferating neuronal progenitors in the postnatal hippocampus transiently express the proneural gene Ngn2.
Eur J Neurosci. 2007 25; 2591-2603.

Watts C, McConkey H, Anderson L, Caldwell M
Anatomical perspectives on adult stem cells. J Anat 207: 197-208; 2005

Rosser AE, Barker RA, Harrower T, Watts C, Farrington M, Ho AK, Burnstein RM, Menon DK, Gillard JH, Pickard JD, Dunnett SB, for the NEST-UK consortium.
Unilateral transplantation of human primary fetal tissue in four patients with Huntington’s disease: NEST-UK safety report ISRCTN no 26485475. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 73: 678-685; 2002

Eyre JA, Miller S, Clowrey GJ, Conway EA, Watts C
Functional corticospinal projections are established prenatally in the human foetus permitting involvement in the development of spinal motor centres. Brain 123: 51-64; 2000.


Anna Crofton (nurse representative)

Co-opted members

Kathy Oliver
Maryanne Roach

Maryanne Roach

Maryanne’s career revolved around the Pharmaceutical Industry, at first, within several pharmaceutical companies where she was responsible for provision of medical information to healthcare professionals as well as clinical trial management.

After that she worked extensively in the sector which provides services to the Pharmaceutical Industry, notably marketing research, business intelligence and consultancy.

Latterly, she was Managing Director of a small company which facilitated benchmarking of sales, medical, marketing and research operations amongst UK and International pharmaceutical companies.

On leaving full time employment, Maryanne was for 6 years a Trustee for Brain Tumour UK, subsequently The Brain Tumour Charity, and has followed that by volunteering within the International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA) as well as for BNOS.

She is particularly interested in clinical research, pharmaceutical industry liaison, drug development, ensuring high quality, actionable statistical data, and marketing.

Past Presidents

Professor John Darling (2007 - 2009)

Professor John DarlingProfessor John DARLING
BSc (Kent) MSc (Reading) PhD (London) FRMS FSB

Dean School of Applied Sciences and Director Research Institute in Healthcare Science University of Wolverhampton Wulfruna Street Wolverhampton WV1 1LY

Honorary Senior Fellow Institute of Neurology University College London National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery Queen Square London WC1N 3BG

Visiting Professor in Neuro-oncology School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty of Science and Technology University of Central Lancashire Preston Lancashire PR1 2HE

Honorary Professor of Medical Sciences North China Coal Medical University Jian She Road Tangshan Hebei People’s Republic of China 063000

The molecular and cellular basis of chemosensitivity in malignant brain tumours. Prediction of clinical response, progression and recurrence in brain tumours. Molecular mechanisms involved in brain tumour pathogenesis.

American Association for Cancer Research, British Association for Cancer Research, British Neuro-oncology Group (now Society), British Society for Human Genetics, European Association for Animal Cell Technology, European Association for Cancer Research, European Association for Neuro-Oncology, European Microscopy Society, European Tissue Culture Society, Society for Neuro-Oncology, Research Defence Society, Fellow, Royal Microscopical Society

“Neuro-Oncology” Member of the Editorial Board 1998-2006 and 2006-2009
Brain Tumour UK Scientific and Medical Advisory Board
British Neuro-oncology Group Committee 1988-1998; Secretary 1990-1996
British Neuro-oncology Society Vice President 2004-2007, President 2007-2009 and Past President 2009-2011
Cancerbackup Scientific and Medical Advisor
European Neuro-oncology Association Founder Member and Steering Committee 1992-1998
Medical Research Council Brain Tumour Working Party 1988-1997
Medical Research Council College of Experts 2006-2009
Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust Scientific and Medical Advisory Board
CENTECH™ (West Midlands Regional DTI-funded Biotechnology Exploitation Platform) Project Steering Group 2001-2005 and Board of Directors 2002-2005
Midlands Centre for Health and Social Care Improvement Oversight Committee
MIDTECH (NHS Innovations Intellectual Property Hub for the West Midlands) Board of Directors
West Midlands HEIs Healthcare and Medical Technologies Group
West Midlands (North) Comprehensive Local Research Network

Ward S Karakoula K Phipps KP Harkness W Hayward R Thompson D Jacques TS Jacques TS Harding B Darling JL Thomas DGT and Warr TJ Cytogenetic analysis of paediatric astrocytoma using comparative genomic hybridisation and fluorescence in-situ hybridisation J Neuro-oncol Jan 6 [Epub ahead of print] 2010

Xu B Guo X Mathew S Armesilla AL Cassidy J Darling JL Wang W Triptolide simultaneously induces reactive oxygen species, inhibits NF-kappaB activity and sensitizes 5-fluorouracil in colorectal cancer cell lines. Cancer Lett Nov 9 [Epub ahead of print] 2009

Guo X Xu B Pandey S Goessl E Brown J Armesilla AL Darling JL Wang W Disulfiram/ copper complex inhibiting NFkappaB activity and potentiating cytotoxic effect of gemcitabine on colon and breast cancer cell lines. Cancer Lett Sep 24 [Epub ahead of print] 2009

Potter NE Phipps K Harkness W Hayward R Thompson D Jacques TS Harding D Thomas DGT Rees J Darling JL Warr TJ Astrocytoma derived short-term cultures retain molecular signatures characteristic of the tumour in situ Exp Cell Res 315: 2835-2846 2009

Potter N Karakoula A Phipps KP Harkness W Hayward R Thompson DN Jacques TS Harding B Thomas DGT Palmer RW Rees J Darling J Warr TJ Genomic deletions correlate with under-expression of novel candidate genes at six loci in pediatric pilocytic astrocytoma. Neoplasia 10: 757-72 2008

Knizetova P Darling JL Bartek J Vascular endothelial growth factor in astroglioma stem cell biology and response to therapy J Cell Mol Med 12: 111-125 2008

Guo X Evans TRJ Somanath S Armesilla AL Darling JL Schatzlein A Cassidy J Wang W In vitro evaluation of cancer-specific NF-kB-CEA enhancer-promoter system for 5-fluorouracil prodrug gene therapy in colon cancer cell lines Br J Cancer 97: 483-492 2007

Suarez-Merino B Hubank M Revesz T Harkness W Hayward R Thompson D Darling JL Thomas DGT Warr TJ Microarray analysis of pediatric ependymoma identifies a cluster of 112 candidate genes including four transcripts at 22q121-q133 Neuro-oncology 7: 20 – 31 2005


Professor Charles Davis (2009 - 2011)

Mr Charles DavisProfessor Charles Davis, Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology

My interest in cancer began as a Houseman in the Leukaemia Unit at St Bartholomew's Hospital and subsequently working for David Thomas at the National Hospital, I was impressed by the need for better Neuro-Oncological Services in the UK.

In 1987 I was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, and started a Neuro-Oncology Clinic. The following year a Meningioma Clinic and the introduction of image guided surgery.

My research interests are in relation to benign and malignant brain tumours, chemotherapy and chemosensitivity. I lead the clinical Preston end of Brain Tumour North West, which is a research collaboration between the University of Wolverhampton, Liverpool, Central Lancashire and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.

However, my principal concern has remained the need within the problems of the National Health Service, to deliver equal and rapid access to the best Neuro-Oncological Services for both malignant and benign tumours and this accords well with the aspirations of the British Neuro-Oncology Society.


Professor Geoff Pilkington (2011 - 2013)

Professor Geoff PilkingtonProfessor Geoffrey J Pilkington BSc PhD CBiol FSB FRCPath

Professor of Cellular and Molecular Neuro-oncology
School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Head, Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research Division
Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences
University of Portsmouth, St Michael's Building
White Swan Road, Portsmouth PO1 2DT


Previous post: Professor of Experimental Neuro-oncology, King's College, London

Membership of Professional Bodies:

Fellow, Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath)
Fellow, Society of Biology (CBiol FBS)
Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine
Member, European Association of Neuro-oncology
Member, Society for Neuro-oncology (USA)
Member, International Glioma Invasion Forum
Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours
Member, British Neuropathological Society
Member, International Society of Neuropathology
Member, European Association for Cancer Research
Member, British Neuroscience Association

Research: Focuses on the development of models for the study of intrinsic brain tumours, elucidation of the mechanisms underlying diffuse local invasive behaviour in glioma and development of novel strategies for mitochondrial mediation of apoptosis in glioma.

Scientific Advisor: to Brain Tumour UK, Brainstrust, Ali's Dream & Charlie's Challenge (Chair).


Honorary members

Professor David Thomas (Life member and Founding President)
Professor Michael Weller (President of EANO)

Meet our Subcommittee Members

Communications subcommittee

Chair: Professor Silvia Marino
Mr Venkat Iyer
Dr Bernadette Foran
Kathy Oliver
Mr Richard Gullan
Anna Crofton
Maryanne Roach

Conference subcommittee

Chair: Mr David Jellinek
Mr Andrew Brodbelt
Dr Carol Walker
Kathy Oliver
Ingela Oberg
Professor Phil Kane

Scientific/Research subcommittee

Chair: Professor Oliver Hanemann
Professor Silvia Marino
Professor Anthony Chalmers
Dr Adam Waldman
Dr Colin Watts
Dr Sara Picirillo
Professor Paolo Salomoni
Professor Richard Grundy