Independent Scientific Review Panel | Breast Cancer UK

Independent Scientific Review Panel

Breast Cancer UK’s Independent Scientific Review Panel was established in September 2016 to help strengthen our science and grant funding program by providing expert scientific advice, specialist knowledge and expertise to staff and Trustees on subjects and themes relating to the various risk factors for breast cancer, including the links associated with exposure to harmful chemicals and those associated with diet and lifestyle.

Panel members independently peer review all grant applications received by the charity and peer review the organisation’s body of scientific literature to ensure it is of a good scientific standard, meets Information Standard criteria and is based on sound scientific principles.

Panel member



Dr Michael Antoniou


Dr Michael Antoniou is a Reader in Molecular Genetics, and Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King's College London. His research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation and development of gene expression systems for biotechnological applications. He also uses molecular profiling (“omics”) tools to investigate the endocrine disruptive capability of low, environmentally relevant doses of key pesticides and other chemical pollutants.

Dr Michelle Bellingham


Dr Michelle Bellingham is a Lecturer at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, at the University of Glasgow. Her main research interests focus on examining how exposure to chemicals in the environment, at different life stages, can affect long-term health and fitness.

Dr Rebecca Bowen


Dr Rebecca Bowen is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation trust and an honorary Lecturer at the University of Bath. She also has expertise in molecular profiling of breast cancer.

Professor Claude Chelala

  Professor Claude Chelala is professor of bioinformatics at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London and Co-Director of the Centre for Computational Biology, Life Science Initiative at QMUL. Her research interests are in computational and integrative bioinformatics. Her work involves designing and setting up platforms and tools for the organisation, integration and mining of complex –omics data sets, including those associated with pancreatic cancer and breast cancer.

Dr Nuria Coll Bastus


Dr Nuria Coll Bastus works as a Medical Liason officer at AbbVie. Her research interests include the genetics of hormone associated cancers and cancer therapeutics.

Dr Helen Collins


Dr Helen Collins is a Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Vice Dean for Postgraduate Taught Education, in the School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences at Kings College London. Her main research interests include the role of iron in development of immunity, particularly in its role in driving inflammatory processes both in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as infectious diseases.

Professor Philippa Darbre


Professor Philippa Darbre is Professor Emeritus (Oncology), in the School of Biological Sciences, at the University of Reading. Her research interests centre on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of oestrogen and oestrogen-mimicking chemicals in human breast cancer cells, with a main focus on the ingredients contained in underarm cosmetics.

Dr Robin Mesnage

  Dr Robin Mesnage is a post-doctoral Researcher in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King's College, London. He is a toxicologist whose main research interests focus on understanding the effects of pollution on human health, and the safety evaluation of environmental contaminants, including pesticides. He specialises in analysis of multivariate and high dimensional data and advises on risk management of hazardous chemical and biocidal compounds.

Dr Hannah Mitchison

  Dr Hannah Mitchison is a Reader in Molecular and Medical Genetics at University College London, based at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Her research interests focus on understanding the cell biological and genetic causes of children’s inherited diseases, through gene discovery family studies and functional analysis in cell models and model organism systems. She co-directs the UCL Cilia Disorders Laboratory and is a founder of the Ciliopathy Alliance.

Dr Sarah Martin


Dr. Sarah Martin is a Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator in Barts Cancer Institute Queen Mary University of London. She is deputy centre lead for the Centre of Molecular Oncology in Barts Cancer Institute. Her main research interests focus on DNA mismatch repair, and identifying new ways of treating cancer by targeting defects in DNA repair.

Dr Sarah McClelland


Dr Sarah McClelland is Lecturer at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London. Her main research interests are understanding the causes of chromosome mis-segregation in the context of tumourigenesis and characterising fundamental mechanisms controlling genetic stability.

Professor Maria O'Connell

  Professor Maria O’Connell is a Professor of Cell Biology and Head of Pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy, at the University of East Anglia. Her research interests are focused on age-related disease and cellular antioxidants; resolution of inflammation, including new targets and mechanisms of action; dietary, plant and marine bioactives including mechanisms of action in inflammation and chronic disease; and novel therapeutics for cancer.

Dr Elisabete Silva

  Dr Elisabete Silva is a Senior Lecturer in Human Toxicology at the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies, Brunel University London. Her research interests focus on evaluating the effects of multi-component mixtures of oestrogenic chemicals and their potential relationship with hormonal related diseases, in particular, breast cancer.

Dr Ellen Sweeney

  Dr. Ellen Sweeney is a health researcher and policy analyst based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is a Research Scientist and the Director of Strategic Research Initiatives at the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (Atlantic PATH) cohort study. Her research interests focus on environmental health, women’s health and primary prevention of disease.

Dr James Turner


Dr James Turner is a Senior Lecturer in Human Physiology in the Department for Health at the University of Bath. His research interests focus on understanding how lifestyle factors such as cardiorespiratory fitness, levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, body composition, and diet, affect aspects of immune function and the development or treatment of disease, such as breast cancer.

Dr Ruth Wheeler


Dr Ruth Wheeler is a senior Clinical Scientist in the Molecular Haemostasis Laboratory at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. Her main research interests are in the genetics of human disease, including cancers, the diagnosis of inherited bleeding disorders and the application of new technologies to the diagnosis of genetic disorders.

Dr Vasanta Subramanian


  Dr Vasanta Subramanian is a Reader in the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Bath. Her main research interests focus on stem cell homeostasis, and its implications for cancer.

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