Richard Marais PhD is the Director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and a Professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Manchester.
He is a world-leading expert in the causes of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Much of his work has focused on the role of the protein kinase BRAF in melanoma progression, and he uses this knowledge to develop novel therapeutic strategies for melanoma patients. He has shown that oncogenic BRAF drives cell growth and this work has led to the discovery of new drugs that are effective in this disease.
He obtained a BSc in Genetics and Microbiology from University College, London (1985), and a PhD in Comparative Studies on Protein Kinase C Isotypes at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London (1989).
He pursued Post-doctoral Research Fellowships at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London (1989-1993) and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London (1993-1997). It was at the ICR where Prof Marais spent the next 19 years of his career focusing on cell signalling in melanoma. He progressed to Team Leader of the Signal Transduction Team, to Professor of Molecular Oncology and finally to the Division Head, Division of Cancer Biology, in 2011.
He was appointed Director of the CRUK Manchester Institute in 2012 where he also leads the successful Molecular Oncology Group.
Prof Marais is the current President of the European Association for Cancer Research (2014-2016) and on the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research. He is on the Editorial Boards of several journals, including Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research. He has received numerous prizes and awards for his work, including the Society for Melanoma Research Estella Medrano Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Melanoma Research (2011).
He has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2007), a Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (2009), an EMBO Member (2009) and a Member of Academia Europaea (2015).