Dr Igor Vivanco is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Dr Vivanco received a BA degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He then received a PhD from the University of California, where he studied PTEN tumour suppressor function and how to pharmacologically target cancer-specific liabilities generated by the functional loss of PTEN. He then conducted post-doctoral work at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he focused on understanding de novo resistance to EGFR kinase inhibitors in glioblastoma. He published seminal work identifying and characterising PTEN loss as a mechanism of EGFR inhibitor resistance, and refined our understanding of how conformation-selective EGFR inhibitors can be used to optimise targeting of EGFR in glioblastoma.
In 2014, he established his own research lab at the Institute of Cancer Research. His group is interested in understanding the molecular underpins of oncogene and metabolic addiction in cancer, with a particular focus on addiction to receptor tyrosine kinases and the PI3K pathway. The goal is to use this knowledge to optimise the clinical deployment of targeted agents in both brain and lung cancer. He has demonstrated that AKT, a critical effector of PI3K, can promote cell survival independent of catalytic activity and that efficient inhibition of these functions is important for the therapeutic properties of AKT inhibitors. He is the recipient of a CRUK programme foundation award and is a member of the Brain and lung cancer NCRI clinical study groups.
Dr Vivanco moved to King's Institute of Pharmaceutical Science in 2021 where he continues with his work on molecular addictions.