Targeting DNA repair: from basic science to clinical trials

Thomas Helleday is director of the Weston Park Cancer Centre and Professor of Translational Oncology at University of Sheffield and the Söderberg Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Professor Helleday heads a multidisciplinary translational research group focusing on understanding basic DNA repair and DNA-damage signaling pathways at replication forks and developing novel drugs for anti-cancer treatments. The group was first to demonstrate a novel concept for treating cancer called “synthetic lethality” established by the selective killing of BRCA mutated breast and ovarian cancers by PARP inhibitors. The research group is currently divided into teams focusing on basic science, biology, biochemistry, in vitro assays, medicinal chemistry and in vivo pharmacology. The work is focused on bench to bedside and the group motto is ‘turning cancer defects into cures’. Professor Helleday has been awarded numerous eminent international grants and awards in recognition of his research accomplishments including the Eppendorf-Nature Young European Investigator Award (2005) for outstanding contribution within the field of biomedical science by the journal Nature and the prestigious ERC advanced grants (2010,2016).