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Register for this Inaugural Lecture on Eventbrite.

Join us to celebrate a special milestone for our new professors and hear about their inspiring career journeys. Doors for this event will open on 16:45 (BST), with the lectures to commence at 16:50. A drinks reception will be held at 18:00 immediately after the lecture.

Professor Dusko Ilic

An Ode to Restlessness


Humans are always striving to become a better version of themselves. Their restless souls are always moving in an active pursuit for abstract aspirations. I spent my life wandering around the world chasing inner satisfaction, both personal and professional. The journey took me from a close-knit community in Croatia, to the Serbian capital Belgrade, the megalopolis of Tokyo, the solitude of Kyushu Island, the eclectic mix of San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and finally to London. In all this wandering, I always focused on translational research, ranging from defining the molecular mechanisms of cellular motion that led to the development of promising cancer treatments, to an establishment of the service for fertility preservation in women and prepubertal girls undergoing cancer treatment. The pursuit is not over yet.


I graduated from Medical School and Molecular Biology in Belgrade and obtained Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo, Japan. The focus of my work is the translational aspect of human reproduction, stem cell research, and development of sustainable technologies. I am committed to pursuing sustainable innovations that can help maintain the balance between needs of society and preservation of environment and natural resources for time to come. 

Professor Claire Wells

UnPAKing a career in teaching and cancer research 


I have spent my research career observing cells moving across surfaces. I started out watching films of muscle cells during my PhD and later moved on to cancer cells. In my lecture, I will outline my route to watching so many moving cells and how I balanced my love of research science with my passion for teaching. Research in my lab has centred around a family of proteins called p-21 activated kinases (PAKs). I will describe our journey exploring PAK biology and how we have linked their function to cancer cell movement. Understanding how cancer cells move is fundamentally important for creating the next generation of drugs to prevent cancer spread.


I started my science career studying Biology at UCL where I was enthralled, for the first time, by time lapse microscopy of moving cells. I completed my PhD in the Randall Institute at King's College London with Michelle Peckham and Graham Dunn investigating muscle cell movement. I crossed the Thames to move into studies of cancer cell movement with Anne Ridley at the Ludwig Institute, UCL and then headed back across the river to continue that work with Gareth Jones in the Randall at King's. In 2007, I joined Cancer Studies at King's where my group studies the molecular signalling pathways regulated by PAKs during cancer cell metastasis. We have worked with Cancer Research UK for the last 10 years developing PAK specific inhibitors for clinical use.

At this event

Dusko Ilic

Professor of Stem Cell Sciences

Claire Wells

Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies