The Athena SWAN team will profile one excellent member of SMD staff each month for the coming academic year, 2017-18.
October 2017: Professor Frances Balkwill OBE FMedSci
Frances Balkwill is Professor of Cancer Biology at Barts Cancer Institute where she leads the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation, a research centre of approximately 30 scientists, postgraduate students and clinicians. Fran and her team study the links between cancer and inflammation, being especially interested in translating knowledge of cancer biology into new biological treatments for cancer, the role that inflammatory cytokines play in cancer promotion and novel ways of modelling the human tumour microenvironment. Fran has written and edited a number of academic books on her subjectis and is also author on 250+ scientific papers and reviews. In 2006, she was made a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and has served on its Council.
Fran is also actively involved in the communication of science to non-specialist audiences, especially young people, and is the Director of the Centre of the Cell, the SMD's award winning biomedical science centre for children, educational website and outreach project based at the Blizard building in Whitechapel. 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 an incredible half million copies sold worldwide. For her excellent science communication work Fran was recently awarded the 2017 Cancer Research UK Inspiring Leadership in Research Engagement Prize.
Fran is a non-parliamentary board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, POST, and serves on Wellcome, MRC and ERC grant committees. Additionally, Fran was awarded an OBE in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, and in 2015 Fran was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa by the University of Bristol where she studied as an undergraduate.