Wednesday, 09 February, 13:00

Presentation Title, Understanding and targeting the tumour microenvironment of high-grade serous ovarian cancer

Speaker Profile

Frances Balkwill is Professor of Cancer Biology at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London. She is especially interested in translating knowledge of cancer biology into new biological treatments for cancer. Much of her work focuses on the tumour microenvironment of ovarian cancer. After publishing a multi-level profile of the human ovarian cancer microenvironment, her lab developed a platform of new mouse models as well as human multi-cellular tissue culture models. They are now using these to research biological therapies that may prevent relapse and increase patient survival.

Fran is Director of the Centre of the Cell, a biomedical science centre for children, educational website and outreach project in East London. There have been more than 218,000 participants in Centre of the Cell activities since opening in September 2009. Together with illustrator Mic Rolph, Fran has also produced thirteen science books for children on cell and molecular biology with titles such as Enjoy Your Cells, The Egg and Sperm Race and You, Me and HIV. These books have been translated into at least twelve foreign languages with over half a million copies sold worldwide.

Fran serves on CRUK and ERC grant committees. She is a Trustee of the charity Blood Cancer UK and chairs the Research Advisory Committee of Prostate Cancer UK.


We have ‘deconstructed’ and ‘reconstructed the tumour microenvironment of high-grade serous ovarian cancer, HGSOC, with the overall aim of finding ways to improve outcomes for women with this disease.

This talk will describe how we are using a platform of in silico, in vivo, ex vivo and multi-cellular models to study the impact of chemotherapy on the immune cells in the tumour microenvironment and the potential of a range of biological therapies to enhance nascent immune responses.