Northern Institute for Cancer Research

Staff Profile

Dr Simon Bomken

Clinical Fellow & Honorary Consultant



2015 CCT Paediatrics (Paediatric Oncology)

2013 PhD, Newcastle University

2005 Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK

2002 MBBS (Hons), Newcastle University

1999 BMedSci (Hons), Newcastle University 


Academic Paediatric Association GBI

British Association for Cancer Research

Children's Cancer & Leukaemia Group (CCLG)

European Intergroup Collaboration for Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (EICNHL)

International BFM Study Group - Genetic variation task force

Honours and Awards

2014    Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting alumnus, Royal Society nominee

2002    Mona McNaughton Prize - MBBS (Hons) final examination results 2002

1998    Wolfson Scholar - BMedSci (Hons)


Research Interests

Aggressive B cell lymphoma of childhood (focusing on Burkitt lymphoma and lymphoproliferative disorders in immunodeficient patients (primary immunodeficiency and post-transplant) - development of functional genomic screens and pre-clinical modelling

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - characterisation of cancer propagating cells

Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis - Paediatric clinical service associated with Newcastle Human Dendritic Cell Laboratory (

Current Work

Together with Dr Vikki Rand and Dr Chris Bacon I run the Childhood Lymphoma Research Group within the NICR.  My focus is on developing highly characterised pre-clinical models for the validation of novel therapeutic targets for Burkitt lymphoma.  These models are suitable for the testing of new precision medicines, designed to improve rates of cure whilst reducing the extensive toxicity associated with current treatments for aggressive B cell lymphoma.  I also work closely with UK and European colleagues (iBFM, EICNHL, ESID) to develop our understanding of development of lymphoid malignancy in children with inherited immune deficiency or DNA repair disorders.

I continue to work with Prof Olaf Heidenreich and Prof Josef Vormoor on projects aimed at understanding the genomic drivers of malignant B cell self-renewal and determinants of haematopoietic lineage specification.  This work takes both a candidate approach and an unbiased, genome-wide approach to identify important elements of the genetic programmes allowing malignant cells to self-renew and propagate a malignancy.  As lymphoid cells have an inherent potential for clonal expansion, this work looks to identify elements of the clonal expansion programme of lymphoid cells which are harnessed in lymphoid malignancy.  It is therefore thought to be applicable to both B precursor and mature B cell diseases.

Funding - Current Projects 

The Good Will Cause

North of England Children's Cancer Research Fund

Funding - Training

My current Clinical Fellow position is generously funded by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation

ACF/ACL posts funded by NIHR

MRC Centenary Early Career Award

MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship


I supervise undergraduate, masters and PhD students within the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, as well as providing clinical teaching for medical students within the Great North Children's Hospital.

I have contributed a chapter on clinical research to the recently published MRCPCH Science of Paedaitrics Mastercourse book for candidates of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health membership exam.  I am also currently revising chapters on childhood lymphoma and tumour lysis syndrome for the second edition of the Oxford University Handbook of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology.