Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre

Charlie Gourley

Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer Research

Nicola Murray Foundation logo


Professor Charlie Gourley - Chair of Medical Oncology and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology. Director, Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer Research

Research in a Nutshell 

Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cause of female cancer death in the UK. Until recently it has been treated as a single disease entity. There is now considerable evidence to demonstrate that ovarian cancers differ in their tissues of origin, their genetic abnormalities, their responsiveness to chemotherapy and the ultimate outcome for patients. 

It is our aim to investigate the biology of this disease at the interface between the laboratory and the clinic in order to generate findings that can be directly translated into patient benefit. We do this by characterising the molecular changes that occur in different ovarian cancers and determining how this affects their responsiveness to chemotherapy or novel biological agents. In some instances this has led to the description of novel molecular subtypes.


Research Programme

Nicola Murray Foundation

C.Gourley group



Charlie Gourley

Principal Investigator, Professor of Medical Oncology and Director of the Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer Research

Robb Hollis PhD Student
Mike Churchman Lab Manager
Simon Herrington Professor of Molecular Cancer Pathology
David Melton Chair in Somatic Cell Genetics
Barbara Stanley MD
Liang Song Post Doc
Miriam Kathleen Gomez PhD Student




  • ALMAC Diagnostics – Belfast, UK.
    • Ovarian cancer gene expression studies
  • PeterMac Institute – Melbourne, Australia.
    • Genetics of mucinous and borderline ovarian cancer
  • ICON7 – MRC Clinical Trials Unit, UK.
    • A randomised, two arm, multi-centre Gynaecologic Cancer InterGroup phase III trial of adding bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) in first line treatment of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.
  • ICON6 - MRC Clinical Trials Unit, UK.
    • A randomised three-arm, three stage, double-blind, placebo-controlled multi-centre Gynaecologic Cancer InterGroup (GCIG) phase III trial.  
  • PETROC – CRUK/NCI Canada.
    • A randomised phase II/III Trial of PEritoneal Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
  • PiSSARO – Aprea AB, Sweden.
    • A phase Ib study combining APR-246 with standard chemotherapy in platinum sensitive relapsed high grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC).

Partners and Funders

  • Nicola Murray foundation/Charitable donation/3 years/ £150K
  • Charon Foundation/Charitable donation/3 years/£100K
  • SMS-IC/Research Grant/3 years/£377K
  • Astra-Zeneca/Research Grant/18 months/£207K
  • The late Miss Grace D McMahon/MD studentship/2 years/£50K
  • CRUK/Development Fund/2 years/£25K
  • CRUK/PhD studentship/4 years/£60K

Scientific Themes

High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Cancer genetics, Gene signatures, Gene Expression, BRCA1 and BRCA2, Homologous recombination, Mutation screening, Translational research, Clinical trials

Technology Expertise

Translation Research, Clinical trial management, Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) tissue, Nucleic acid extraction, Gene Expression, Next Generation Sequencing, Conventional Sequencing, Bioinformatics