Julian Downward

Julian Downward

Company: Francis Crick Institute

Job title: Associate Research Director


Julian Downward is an Associate Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute. He leads the Oncogene Biology Group, which investigates how cells grow and multiply and how this process can go wrong and lead to cancer. The team’s research is leading us towards future anti-cancer therapies designed to specifically target tumours while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Julian obtained his bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University and then completed his PhD in biochemistry in the laboratory of Michael Waterfield at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund laboratories in London. In the early 1980s, Julian’s work uncovered the importance of EGFR in the development of cancer, thanks to its ability to control cell division. The discovery overturned widely held ideas on the causes of cancer and inspired the development of a new genre of targeted cancer therapies, including the breast cancer treatment Herceptin.   Julian began working on the role of Ras proteins in human cancer in Robert Weinberg’s laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, prior to starting his own lab in London at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, which are now part of the Francis Crick Institute. The lab has provided critical insights into the molecular mechanisms of proteins in the Ras family and their importance in human tumours. Julian is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.


Combination Approaches to the Use of G12C KRAS Inhibitors 9:00 am

• KRAS G12C inhibitors have proved effective on many G12C KRAS mutant tumour in vitro, in vivo and in clinical trials, but acquired and pre-existing resistance is a problem • Several approaches have been taken to establish how best to combine these drugs for more effective treatment of KRAS G12C mutant cancers and minimisation of…Read more

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