Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Professor John Lunec

Gillespie Prof of Molecular Oncology


Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator, Northern Institute for Cancer Research
NICR Postgraduate Tutor


1971 Imperial College BSc (Hons) Physics.
1971 ARCS (Associate of the Royal College of Science)
1978 PhD Biophysics (Cellular and Molecular Biology)
Queen Elizabeth/Kings College, University of London.
1986 CRC/University of Glasgow, Recombinant DNA Training Fellowship.

2012 MRCR Hon Membership Royal College of Radiologists

2013 FRCPath Fellowship Royal College of Pathologists

Previous Positions

Gillespie Reader in Molecular Oncology and Assistant Director,
Cancer Research Unit, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Senior Lecturer,
Cancer Research Unit, University of Newcastle
Cancer Research Unit, University of Newcastle
Postdoctoral Research Associate,
Cancer Research Unit, University of Newcastle
Recombinant DNA Fellowship,
Institute of Genetics, University of Glasgow
MRC Scientist
MRC Cyclotron Unit, Royal Postgrad Medical School, Hammersmith Hosp.


British Association for Cancer Research
American Association for Cancer Research
European Neuroblastoma Study Group
United Kingdom Children's Cancer Neuroblastoma Study Group

Royal College of Radiologists (Hon)

Royal College of Pathologists (Fellowship)

Local Research Groups:-
Northern Institute for Cancer Research
Gynaecologicol Oncology Research Group
Children's Cancer Research Group


Research Interests

Molecular Biology of Cancer

Esteem Indicators

Award of Gillespie Readership in Molecular Oncology
Royal College of Radiologists Cancer Biology Specialist Examiner
American Institute of Biological Sciences Expert Consultant Panel
United Kingdom Children's Cancer Neuroblastoma Study Group
National Representative on the European Neuroblastoma SIOP ENQUA Group
Leukaemia Research Fund Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel

MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Panel (2011-2014) 

MRC Doctoral Training Panel (2015 - )

EPSRC Peer Review College (2016 - )

MRC Cancer Global Health Challenge Panel (2018 - )

Editorial boards:
Oncology Reports -1998
European Journal of Cancer 2003 –
Current Cancer Therapy Reviews 2004 -

Industrial Relevance

Industrial Collaborations:
Lilly Pharmaceuticals
Astra Zeneca
Siena Biotech
Novocastra (BioNet studentship)
Cancer Research Technology


Isoindolinone inhibitors of the MDM2-p53 interaction.
(In conjunction with Cancer Research Technology)


Undergraduate Teaching

BSc Pharmacology PED3006 Module Leader: "Carcinogenesis and Anticancer Drugs"

Postgraduate Teaching

MSc in Oncology/Palliative Care,
Module Leader for ONC800 "Cancer Cell, Molecular Biology & Genetics".
NICR Postgraduate Tutor
PhD and MD supervisor:
Have successfully supervised 44 PhD, 6 MD & 8 MSc students
Currently supervise 6 PhD's, 1 MD & 1 MPhil student