Professor Steve Clifford

Professor of Cancer Genetics and Director of NICR, Newcastle University (Newcastle upon Tyne)

Professor Steve Clifford leads the Childhood Brain Tumour Research team (25 scientists/clinicians) at the Newcastle University Centre for Cancer, with major interests in understanding the biological basis of embryonal brain tumour development (principally medulloblastoma and ATRT), and translating these findings into improved clinical treatments.His international bench-to-bedside programme in medulloblastoma has been central to advances in childhood neuro-oncology research and international clinical trials over the last two decades. His team has made fundamental discoveries through advanced genomic, biomarker, trials and functional studies, and translated these into improved molecular diagnostics, risk-stratification, and therapeutics.  These discoveries now form the basis of medulloblastoma diagnostic sub-classification internationally (WHO classifications, 2016 & 2021), and he helped pioneer first clinical trials of biomarker-driven risk-adapted personalised therapies (e.g. SIOP-PNET5-MB/HR-MB) and state-of-the-art diagnostics across Europe. The UK leads worldwide in delivering these for all patients, through the National Reference Centre in Newcastle.

Steve plays leading roles in national (CCLG, NCRI) and international (SIOP-Europe, ITCC-Brain) research networks and clinical trials in medulloblastoma. His research is supported by programme grants from Cancer Research UK, Children with Cancer UK, CCLG/The Little Princess Trust and Children’s Cancer North, and he has published over 125 peer-reviewed papers with >23,000 citations. He sits on advisory panels for The Brain Tumour Charity, the National Medical Research Council of Singapore and the French National Cancer Institute. He is passionate about training the next-generation of cancer researchers and clinicians; he leads under-graduate modules in Cancer at Newcastle University, supervises (>20 to date) and regularly examines MD and PhD candidates, and is Trustee of an outreach programme for children’s cancer care in Malawi, Africa. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2021, in recognition of his achievements in translational paediatric oncology.

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