New Director of Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre

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Professor Andrew Tutt appointed as Centre Director for the Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre

Professor Andrew Tutt, one of the UK’s leading specialists at running clinical trials of targeted therapies for breast cancer, has been appointed as Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

Professor Tutt will be working as Centre Director while maintaining his roles as Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at King’s College London and Consultant Oncologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust - linking Breakthrough and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) with these prestigious institutions.

As a consultant oncologist and leading researcher, Professor Tutt’s work is led by the needs of breast cancer patients.  His research primarily focuses on the discovery of new treatments for some of the most hard-to-treat forms of breast cancer – those known as triple negative – which do not respond to hormonal therapies or HER2 targeted drugs.  

One of Professor Tutt’s biggest achievements to date has been his role, alongside Professor Alan Ashworth – Chief Executive of the ICR and a former Director of the Breakthrough  Breast Cancer Research Centre – in the development of a new class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors, designed for use in patients with genetic forms of breast cancer. 

The Breakthrough Research Centre opened in 1999 and was the world’s first dedicated breast cancer research centre with one clear aim – to stop women dying of breast cancer.   It is now established as a world-leading institution, where 140 leading medical doctors and scientists work together and share ideas on how to diagnose and treat the disease better.  Supported by excellent infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology, scientists at the Research Centre have already produced a series of promising new treatments giving new hope to thousands of breast cancer sufferers.  

Professor Andrew Tutt, Director of the Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre and Consultant Oncologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'I’m enormously proud to have been offered this role. It’s a dream job in which I will be able, through my continued clinical practice, to ensure that Breakthrough’s scientific research in London remains driven by the needs of patients cared for in breast cancer clinics not only in sister collaborating institutions at The Royal Marsden and King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre but also by the wider UK breast cancer clinical community.

'My vision is to enable Breakthrough to harness the potential of the resources we are fortunate enough to receive from donors and use them to recruit and partner with talented scientists from around the world to generate fresh ideas and in turn stimulate a new era of life-saving research.

'I aim to enable our teams to take all available opportunities to translate discoveries in the lab into better outcomes for breast cancer patients, who are at the heart of everything we do at the Research Centre.'

Chris Askew, CEO of Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: 'Andrew is an exceptional talent and a hugely valued asset within our organisation, and I greatly welcome his appointment as Director of the Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre.  He will be instrumental in the creation of new partnerships with international research institutions, as well as building upon existing relationships, to reinforce the existing reputation of our Research Centre’s as a centre of excellence for breast cancer.

'His experience as an active clinical oncologist, leader of clinical trials for promising new treatments and laboratory researcher makes him extremely well placed to achieve this aim and with Andrew leading the charge, we are extremely optimistic for the future of Breakthrough and for breast cancer patients.'

Professor Alan Ashworth, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: 'Professor Andrew Tutt is a leader in his field who understands that only through a thorough understanding of the biology of breast cancers can we discover new therapies for those types of the disease that we can’t treat effectively now. His appointment will be very important in allowing scientific findings from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre to be translated directly to the clinic.'

Professor Arnie Purushotham, Chair in Breast Cancer at King's College London and Director of King's Health Partner's Integrated Cancer Centre, said:  'We are delighted that Andrew Tutt has been appointed to this prestigious leadership position at Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Centre, in addition to his existing Directorship at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at King’s College London where he will continue to drive the discovery of new targets and treatments for breast cancer patients.'

Notes to editors

For further information please contact Jenny Gimpel, PR Manager (Health) on 0207 848 4334 or jenny.gimpel@kcl.ac.uk

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