Dr Gareth Veal
Senior Lecturer

  • Email: gareth.veal@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4332
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 4301
  • Address: Northern Institute for Cancer Research
    Paul O'Gorman Building
    Medical School
    Framlington Place
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE2 4HH

Roles and Responsibilities

Coordination of national paediatric clinical pharmacology studies
Supervision of undergraduate, MRes and PhD student projects
Teaching (BSc Pharmacology; MRes Medical and Molecular Biosciences)
Carcinogen and Chemical Safety Officer - Northern Institute for Cancer Research


BSc Pharmacology (Hons), University of Liverpool

Ph.D. (Clinical Pharmacology), University of Liverpool

Previous Positions

2005 to 2010 - Academic Fellow, Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University.

2001 to 2005 - Senior Research Associate, Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University.

1998 to 2001 - Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cancer Research Unit, Newcastle University.

1996 to 1998 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Experimental Medicine and Haematology/Oncology, Harvard Medical School.


Member of the following organisations :-

- Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) (Pharmacology Subcommittee Chair)

- SIOP European Neuroblastoma Group (Pharmacology Subcommittee Chair)

- NCRI Teenagers and Young Adults CSG Biological Subgroup 

- EMA European Network of Paediatric Research (Enpr-EMA) Scientific Committee

- NIHR NCRN UK and Ireland Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Clinical Research Forum

- British Association for Cancer Research (BACR) 

- American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

- European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) 

Honours and Awards

Awards/achievements :-

Winner of the Quality in Care (QiC) Excellence in Oncology 'Best Innovation in Service Provision - Partnership Across the Pathway' Award for the establishment of a national therapeutic drug monitoring service for the treatment of children with cancer (December, 2013)

BACR Mid-Career Fellowship (£2,000) – awarded to support a collaborative visit to the Tata Memorial Hospital, India (October, 2010)

AACR-Merck Scholar-in-Training Award ($1,400) – received at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, Denver (April, 2009)

AACR-GlaxoSmithKline Outstanding Clinical Scholar Award ($4,000) – received at the 95th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, Orlando (April, 2004)

BACR Exchange Fellowship (£1,500) – received to support research carried out in laboratory of Dr. David Waxman, Boston University, USA (June – August, 2004)

Research Interests

My main area of research involves the design and coordination of clinical pharmacology studies involving children with cancer. These studies are associated with a wide range of approaches to cancer treatment including the development of novel agents, the optimisation of established therapeutics, the administration of high dose chemotherapy regimens and the treatment of infant patients. Studies are carried out at a national level, in collaboration with the Childrens Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), involving patients at centres throughout the UK. Over 600 patients have been recruited to studies over the past 10 years and several thousand clinical samples analysed. In addition to these clinical studies, I am involved in laboratory-based molecular and pharmacological research projects relating to mechanism of anticancer drug action.

Other Expertise

Other research interests/expertise include the following :-

- drug combination studies
- drug monitoring
- pharmacogenetic studies
- clinical welfare of children involved in research studies

Current Work

My current research is associated with the work of the Pharmacology Group of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR). This research involves both clinical pharmacology studies and translational laboratory-based research in the area of paediatric oncology. Ongoing studies are designed to learn more about the key factors which influence the efficacy of currently used and newly-developed drugs or drug formulations for the treatment of children with cancer. For anticancer drugs such as carboplatin, research carried out in the NICR and by other groups has led to approaches to individualised dosing which have now been implemented in standard clinical practic. However, for the vast majority of anticancer drugs used in paediatric oncology, limited clinical pharmacology data is available to dose patients based on any meaningful scientific rationale and there is much work that can be done to optimise treatment. A number of paediatric clinical pharmacology studies are currently open to the recruitment of patients in the UK and Europe, involving the following anticancer drugs:-

- 13-cis-retinoic acid
- actinomycin D
- busulphan
- carboplatin
- cyclophosphamide
- etoposide
- melphalan
- vincristine

In the area of retinoid research, in addition to clinical studies involving 13-cis-retinoic acid, the following laboratory-based projects are currently ongoing :-

- 13-cis-retinoic acid pharmacogenetics
- optimisation of the efficacy of retinoic acid in neuroblastoma
- mechanisms of drug interaction/synergy with novel retinoids

Future Research

Future research will incorporate translational clinical pharmacology and pharmacogenetic studies, increasingly involving international collaborations in order to allow the running of studies large enough to provide statistically meaningful data in a realistic time-frame. Currently the number of patients eligible to participate in clinical pharmacology studies in paediatric oncology is a serious limitation to their design and successful completion. International studies involving the drugs actinomycin D and 13-cis-retinoic acid in children with cancer will be a major focus. A key area in which laboratory-based projects will be developed is the potential for drug combinations with retinoid drugs in neuroblastoma.

Esteem Indicators

Editorial board member for Pharmacology Research & Perspectives 

Reviewer for the following journals :-

- Journal of Clinical Oncology
- Clinical Cancer Research
- Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
- British Journal of Cancer
- European Journal of Cancer
- Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
- Clinical Pharmacokinetics
- Cancer Letters
- Pediatric Blood and Cancer
- British Journal of Pharmacology
- Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery
- Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
- BMC Cancer
- Frontiers in Pediatric Oncology


Children with Cancer UK
Cancer Research UK
European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Medical Research Council DPFS
Medical Research Council DTA
Research Councils UK
Sparks Children's Medical Research Charity
Newcastle University Hospitals Special Trustees 

Undergraduate Teaching

BSc (Hons) Pharmacology Stage 3
PED 306: Carcinogenesis and anticancer drugs

Postgraduate Teaching

MRes in Medical and Molecular Biosciences (MMS8007: Cancer Studies)

MSc Medical Sciences (MMS8101: Research Practice in the 21st Century; MMS8107: Cancer Studies)