Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre


Scientific and clinical direction.

Since the award of Cancer Research UK Centre status in 2010, the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre has been led jointly by two Directors, one focused on Centre's Science and one on Centre's Clinical Activities. For the first nine years these roles were fulfilled by Professor Margaret Frame  and Professor David Cameron respectively, with Professors Ian Tomlinson and Charlie Gourley taking over in 2019/20. 

Professor Ian Tomlinson, Director

Professor Ian Tomlinson
Professor Ian Tomlinson, Director

Professor Tomlinson joined the University of Edinburgh in Autumn 2019 as Charles and Ethel Barr Chair of Cancer Research and became the Director of Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre (including Cancer Research UK  Edinburgh Centre) in January 2020. He was previously Director of the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham, having worked before that at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, University of Oxford and the Institute of Cancer Research. His research interests lie in discovering and functionally characterising cancer driver genes, especially germline variants that predispose to cancer. He also has a longstanding interest in cancer evolution, derived from his PhD project in population genetics, with a specific interest in the relative contributions of selection and mutation to cancer growth. Ian's work focuses on colorectal cancer, but extends to several other cancer types. He is especially keen to integrate work across a variety of biomedical areas, including human patient cohorts and clinics, animal models of disease and biomathematics.

Professor Charlie Gourley, Clinical Director

Professor Charlie Gourley - Clinical Director
Professor Charlie Gourley, Clinical Director

Charlie Gourley graduated in Genetics and Medicine from Glasgow University in 1991 and 1994 respectively. From 1998 to 2005 he trained in Medical Oncology at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre, during which time he was awarded a PhD in ovarian cancer genetics (Edinburgh University) and an NHS Education for Scotland Clinician Scientist Award (2004). Charlie was appointed Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology at the University of Edinburgh in 2005, Reader in Medical Oncology in 2011 and Professor of Medical Oncology (Personal Chair) in 2012. He received a Scottish Senior Clinical Fellowship Award in 2010. He became Director of the Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer in 2016 and Clinical Director of the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre in 2019. He is the current chair of the Gynaecological Cancer Intergroup (GCIG) Translational Committee and is a member of the Scottish Medicines Consortium and the German Cancer Aid Scientific Review Committee. He previously sat on the Scientific Evaluation Committee, Institut National du Cancer in France, the Cancer Research UK Experimental Medicine Expert Review Panel as well as the Commission on Human Medicines Oncology and Haematology Expert Advisory Group.

Professor Gourley is active in ovarian cancer clinical trials. He was UK lead for the SOLO1 trial which led to the first line licence for olaparib in BRCA mutant ovarian cancer and for the recently reported GOG281/LOGS trial of trametinib which is the first ever positive randomised controlled trial in low grade serous ovarian cancer. He sits on the trial management group of a number of UK ovarian cancer trials including ICON9, CENTURION and PEACOCC. He provides leadership on the translational aspects of these studies as well as commercial studies such as PISARRO and PRO-105.

Professor Gourley’s translational research focuses on genomic characterisation of ovarian cancer in order to facilitate the discovery of biomarkers of ovarian cancer drug sensitivity and resistance. Current priorities include whole genome sequencing of ovarian cancer tumours from across Scotland in order to improve patient selection for PARP inhibitors and exomic sequencing of low grade serous ovarian cancers from patients recruited into the GOG281/LOGS study in order to improve patient selection for MEK inhibition.