Professor Terence Rabbitts

Terry Rabbitts has been Professor of Molecular Biology in the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford since 2012. He obtained a PhD at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill (NIMR). He held a post-doctoral fellowship in the Institute of Animal Genetics, University of Edinburgh (1971-1973) before being invited to join Cesar Milstein’s group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge in 1973. He became a group leader at LMB in 1978 and succeeded Fred Sanger as joint Head of the Division of Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry in 1998, together with César Milstein and later with Sir Gregory Winter. He was appointed as Director of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine in 2007.

He has served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of several biotechnology start-up companies, almost all of which have been focused on antibody development and/or antibody use. He was Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of Cambridge Antibody Technology from its instigation until its Stock Market IPO and Chairman of the SAB of Quadrant Healthcare, until its acquisition by Elan. He was a member the Domantis SAB until the Company’s acquisition by GSK, Chair of the Kymab SAB from 2010-2015, a Non-Executive Director of Iclectus and of Aberteno for three years and a Non-Executive Director of Aptuscan for three years until its acquisition by Avacta. He is currently Non-Executive Director of Orbit Discovery Ltd. and a member of the SAB of Biosceptre and of Avacta Life Sciences.

His team are trying to define how chromosomal translocation genes affect proliferation and differentiation from cancer initiating cells to overt cancer and in epithelial cancers, to invasive disease. This work amalgamates technologies for creating in vivo models of chromosomal translocations that mark the cancer initiating cells with fluorescent protein expression and transcriptome analysis deep sequencing RNA-seq to discover new potential therapy targets. Using new technologies to isolate intracellular antibody fragments to target protein function inside cells, the team are targeting oncogenic proteins complexes such as mutant RAS, LMO2, CMYC and P53. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and over 60 book chapters and has an H factor of 85.

His work has been recognized through the award of a Colworth Medal (1981), the CIBA Prize (1993) and the Clotten Foundation Prize (2015). He has given several named lectures in recognition of his contribution to molecular biology and to the biology of chromosomal translocations, including the Nelson Lectures (University of California, 1988), the 5th Jan Waldenström Lecture (1989), the Louise Buchanan Memorial Lecture (1995) and the JS Ploem Lecture (2012). He was elected as a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) (1981), a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) (1987) and a Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) (1998

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