Cancer Studies (Research Division)




Part Time, Full Time


2008 RAE Result: 67 per cent of research outputs from the Division were rated as world leading or internationally excellent

Research income: over £10 million in 2012-13

Current number of academic staff: 40

Current number of research students: PhD 36 FT, 21 PT

Recent publications:

  • Philippe Riou; Svend Kjaer; Ritu Garg; Andrew Purkiss; Roger George; Robert J Cain; Ganka Bineva; Nicolas Reymond; Brad McColl; Andrew J Thompson; Nicola O'Reilly; Neil Q McDonald; Peter J Parker*; Anne J Ridley*. 14-3-3 proteins interact with a hybrid prenyl-phosphorylation motif to regulate Rnd proteins (2013) Cell Volume 153, Issue 3, 25 April 2013, Pages 640-653 *Joint corresponding authors
  • Audeh MW, Carmichael J, Penson RT, Friedlander M, Powell B, Bell-McGuinn KM, Scott C, Weitzel JN, Oaknin A, Loman N, Lu K, Schmutzler RK, Matulonis U, Wickens M, Tutt A (2010) Oral PARP inhibitor olaparib (AZD2281; KU-0059436) in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers with recurrent ovarian cancer: a proof of concept trial. The Lancet 376(9737):245-51.
  • Yeung J, Esposito MT, Gandillet A, Zeisig BB, Griessinger E, Bonnet D, So CW (2010). β-catenin mediates the establishment and drug resistance of MLL leukemic stem cells. Cancer Cell Vol. 18 (6): 606-18.
  • Makani J*, Menzel S*, Nkya S, Cox SE, Drasar E, Soka D, Komba AN, Mgaya J, Rooks H, Vasavda N, Fegan G, Newton CR, Farrall M, Thein SL. Genetics of fetal hemoglobin in Tanzanian and British patients with sickle cell anemia. Blood. 2011 Jan 27;117(4):1390-2
  • Lüchtenborg M, Riaz S, Coupland V, Lim E, Jakobsen E, Krasnik M, Page R, Lind M, Peake M, and Møller H (2013). High Procedure Volume Is Strongly Associated With Improved Survival After Lung Cancer Surgery. JCO. JCO.2013.49.0219; published online on July 29, 2013;

Student destinations
Over 85 per cent of students under the primary supervision of Divisional staff continued in academic and medical research taking Post-Doctoral or more senior positions. The remaining students have taken commercial positions.
Head of group/division
Professor Peter Parker FRS
Expected to be usually three years full-time or up to six years part-time. Enrolment is available in October, January, April and July each year.
Guy's, St Thomas' and Denmark Hill campuses.
Year of entry 2016
Offered by
Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
Closing date
Named studentships will have a closing date stipulated on the advertisement. Self-funded students or those that have secured a personal scholarship should apply at least three months before their proposed starting date but it is recommended that you are in touch with the Division before submitting an online application.
No set number.
Contact information
Division Manager, tel +44 (0)20 7848 8300, fax +44 (0)20 7848 6220.
Email Website

The Division of Cancer Studies has a multidisciplinary research portfolio that maps onto and spans the entire patient journey. We bring together and are underpinned by core strengths in haematology, haemato-oncology, breast cancer biology, epidemiology, cancer cell biology, gastro-intestinal cancer and oncopolicy.  We are fortunate to have access to unique resources such as our Bio-Bank.

The strategic objective of the Division is to foster a culture of innovation in patient care through research excellence. To achieve this we are working towards fully integrated research pathways, breaking down traditional clinical/academic boundaries and drawing together members of the Division and colleagues from our associated Hospital Trusts. This is reflected in the coordinated strategic planning that has laid the foundations for our Integrated Cancer Centre.

There are six Research Sections within the Division:
  • Cancer Epidemiology and Population Health
  • Cell Biology and Imaging
  • GI Cancer
  • Haemato-oncology
  • Molecular Haematology
  • Research Oncology

Staff interests associated with the research programme and its research groups

+44 (0)20 7848 6616
Our research is interested in Cancer Immunotherapy. We wish to understand the mechanisms by which tumours can suppress or evade the immune system. We hope that identifying and investigating these mechanisms will uncover novel therapeutic targets which can be modulated to allow an anti-tumour immune response to effectively attack the tumour tissue.

Our current focus in on the tumour stroma, in particular, tumour associated macrophages which get recruited and aid tumour progression. These cells have potent immune suppressive properties which we are currently investigating.

+44 20 7848 6415
The Institute of Cancer Policy has an internationally recognised faculty and global program of research into all aspects of cancer policy from childhood cancers, through to global cancer surgery and socio technological studies of cancer technologies, including medicines in collaboration with Social Science, Health and Medicine.
We accept both desk and field research program's and have an active capability enhancement program directly with specific countries eg India, Georgia et al, and through our work with the Centre for Global Health at Kings, e.g. Sierra Leone.

General entry advice

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject (or overseas equivalent). A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters degree with Merit or above.

Applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors prior completing the online application form. For further information please contact the Admissions Office Postgraduate (Health) team at

Enhanced criminal conviction check
Please note that research programmes within the School of Medicine may sometimes require a criminal conviction check depending on the particular topic/method of research.
Occupational Health clearance required?

To apply for graduate study at King's you will need to complete our graduate online application form. Applying online makes applying easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.
King's does not normally accept paper copies of the graduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online graduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.

Studentships may be advertised in publications such as They are also posted on the College’s Health Schools Studentships website. Please note that most funding bodies will only support home/EU fees.

Self-funded applicants (through an awarded scholarship or private means) should submit a prospective application using the College online application form. It is recommended that self-funded applicants contact the Division and/or Research Section that they wish to apply to before making a formal application online.

If you are applying for a King's College London award such as the Graduate School International Research Awards, please make contact with the Divisional Manager in addition to submitting your application.
Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by at least two academics from the Division. Proposed research projects must be approved before an offer to the student can be made (this is done via the completion of a Project Approval Form in collaboration with the proposed supervisors and is in addition to the online application).

Please provide information on the research project you wish to undertake, your motivation to undertake postgraduate research and information about your research experience. If you are applying for a specific named project/studentship please include the reference number and project title. Self-funded applicants (through an awarded scholarship or private means) should provide details of how they will fund their studies and state the supervisor(s) to whom they wish to apply. As such it is advised that self-funded applicants contact the Division and/or Research Section that they wish to apply to before making a formal application online.

A small number of studentships, for specific projects, funded by external funding agencies such as the research councils (eg MRC), or charitable bodies are available each year (these are advertised on the Health Schools' Studentship page and/or These typically provide a stipend and the payment of tuition fees at the home/EU rate. Other applicants may be self-funded through a personal scholarship or private means. If you are self-funded please contact the Division or Research Section that you wish to apply to before submitting an online application.

Student profiles

Cancer Studies (Research Division) MPhil/PhD
I chose to do a PhD at King's because the Haematology Department has a very high reputation worldwide in the field of myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloid leukaemia research and several clinical trials and basic science researches are taking place within the department.
I am involved in a research project regarding the role of T lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of myelodysplasia sponsored by King's College Hospital Joint Research Committee. I am working in a very successful department which gives you good training, experience and opportunity to do valuable work.
My supervisors are highly experienced in haematological malignancies and have already conducted several successful projects. I have the opportunity to discuss my project with expert scientists and clinicians based within the department in a very friendly atmosphere, and it has helped me to complete a significant part of my project in the first year of study. I have weekly meetings with my supervisors and my progress is monitored regularly.
Thanks to scientific collaboration with other academic centres I have completed part of my project in the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Centre which is one of the top cancer centres in the USA. After completing my PhD, I would like to continue with clinical research and my academic career.