Alan Ashworth directs a multidisciplinary research and clinical care organization that is one of the largest cancer centers in the Western United States. He also serves as senior vice president for cancer services, UCSF Health.
After receiving his doctoral degree at University College London, Ashworth completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, where in 1995 he was a key member of the team that mapped the gene BRCA2, which is linked to a significantly increased risk of some types of cancers. Ten years later, Ashworth identified a way to exploit genetic weaknesses in cancer cells that include mutated BRCA2, which led to the development of a successful new class of cancer drugs known as PARP inhibitors. In 1999, Ashworth was appointed the first director of the ICR’s Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, which is now internationally recognized, with more than 120 scientists and researchers working on aspects of the disease ranging from basic molecular and cellular biology through to translational research and clinical trials. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008, and in 2011 he was appointed chief executive of the ICR. He joined UCSF in 2015, where he continues his research on developing personalized cancer medicine by translating laboratory studies into improvements in patient care. He is joint leader, with the ICR’s Anthony Swerdlow, of one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive studies of breast cancer causation, the Breakthrough Generations Study, which has more than 100,000 participants.
Sessions as a Speaker
- UCSF Mission Bay Campus