Scientific Advisors

David Sidransky, MD Professor, otolaryngology—head and neck surgery, oncology, pathology, urology, and cellular and molecular medicine; director, head and neck cancer research. Dr. Sidransky is a renowned oncologist and research scientist named and profiled by TIME magazine in 2001 as one of the top physicians and scientists in America, recognized for his work with early detection of cancer. Since 1994, Dr. Sidransky has been the director of the Head and Neck Cancer Research Division at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and professor of oncology, otolaryngology, cellular and molecular medicine, urology, genetics, and pathology at John Hopkins University and Hospital. During the past decade, in the field of oncology, Dr. Sidransky has been one of the world’s most highly cited researchers in clinic and medical journals, with over 300 peer-reviewed publications. He has contributed more than 40 cancer reviews and chapters. Dr. Sidransky served as director (2005-2008) of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He was the chairperson of AACR International Conferences (2006 and 2007) on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development: Maximizing Opportunities for Personalized Treatment. Dr. Sidransky is the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including the 1997 Sarstedt International Prize from the German Society of Clinical Chemistry, the 1998 Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health by the American College of Chest Physicians, and the 2004 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research.


Manuel Hidalgo, MD, PhD joined the CNIO in 2009 to lead the GI Cancer Clinical Research Unit. Dr. Hidalgo is a founding member of the pancreatic cancer research team – a clinical trials group focusing on novel therapeutics for pancreatic cancer. He has participated in the clinical development of more than 30 novel anticancer agents and led the early clinical trials with erlotinib and temsirolimus – two recently approved drugs.

His work has contributed to the incorporation of molecular endpoints in early clinical trials. His group pioneered the utilisation of personalised xenograft models for drug screening, biomarker development and personalised cancer treatment. He has published more than 220 papers in peer-reviewed journals and his work has been funded by the NCI, AACR, and ASCO.

Dr. Hidalgo received an AACR Clinical Research Fellowship and an ASCO Career Development Award for his work on the development of EGFR inhibitors. His most recent efforts focus on novel therapeutics for pancreatic cancer.

In 2011, he was named Vice Director of Translational Research at CNIO charged with the mission to foster translational research at CNIO and with a broader implication of the Center in cancer care.


Harvey I. Pass, MD A surgeon scientist recognized as an international expert in lung cancer and mesothelioma, Dr. Pass is the Stephen E. Banner Professor of Thoracic Oncology and cardiothoracic surgery vice chair for research at NYU Langone Medical Center. His research on discovery and validation of biomarkers has been continuously funded since 1998. Dr. Pass has over 380 peer-reviewed publications and published 10 books, including Lung Cancer: Principles and Practice, Malignant Mesothelioma: Advances in Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Translational Therapies, and 100 Questions and Answers about Mesothelioma. He is editor of Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and is on the editorial board of Clinical Lung Cancer, Clinical Cancer Research, Current Treatment Options in Oncology and Cancer Biomarkers. Dr. Pass has been the recipient of the NIH Director’s Award, the Wagner Medal for contributions to mesothelioma, the Pioneer Award from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, and the Landon Award for Team Science from the American Association for Cancer Research.


René Bernards, PhD studied adenovirus transformation for his PhD research from 1980 to 1984 with Alex van der Eb in Leiden. He joined the laboratory of Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, USA for his postdoctoral training, were he worked with Stephen Friend on the isolation of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene. He was appointed assistant professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in 1988. In 1992 he joined the Netherlands Cancer Institute. In 1994 he was also appointed part time professor of molecular carcinogenesis at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

His scientific accomplishments include the development of MammaPrint, the first clinically-used gene expression profile for breast cancer. To bring this discovery to the clinic he co-founded “Agendia”, a genomics-based diagnostic company that started offering the first microarray-based diagnostic test for the clinical management of breast cancer in 2004. His laboratory also developed the first shRNA vector for gene silencing in mammalian cells and used this vector to create the first genome-scale library of shRNA vectors. His laboratory has used this vector collection to identify biomarkers of response to cancer drugs and to identify particularly powerful drug combinations for the treatment of cancer, based on the concept of synthetic lethality. There are currently four clinical trials that test the efficacy of combination therapies suggested by his genetic screens: NCT01719380; NCT01750918; NCT01791309 and NCT02039336.

He received several awards for his research, including the Pezcoller Foundation-FECS Recognition for Contribution to Oncology, the Ernst W. Bertner Award for Cancer Research from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award in Translational Research in Breast Cancer, the Spinoza award from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the Queen Wilhelmina Research Prize from the Dutch Cancer Society. He is also a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the Academy Professor Prize from this organization in 2013.


Justin Stebbing, MA, FRCP, FRCPath, PhD Professor of cancer medicine and medical oncology, trained in medicine at Trinity College, Oxford, where he gained a triple first-class degree. After completion of junior doctor posts in Oxford, he undertook junior doctor training and a residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States, returning to London to continue his career in oncology at The Royal Marsden and then St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Professor Stebbing’s PhD research investigated the interplay between the immune system and cancer. Professor Stebbing has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as the Lancet, New England Journal, Blood, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Annals of Internal Medicine, as well as writing regularly for national newspapers and presenting new data on optimal cancer therapies at the major international conferences. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Royal College of Pathologists, and sits on the advisory boards of a number of international cancer committees. He chairs the World Vaccine Congress and is on the editorial board of a number of world-leading general medical and cancer journals, such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Oncogene. In 2011, work Professor Stebbing’s team published in Nature Medicine outlines the discovery of a new cancer-causing gene. In 2012, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) awarded Justin Stebbing its first translational research professorship in oncology, aiming to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the patient to ensure therapy is personalized, understand why some patients with cancer relapse, and develop a program to reverse this and prevent it.

Champions Oncology - Specializing in | Personalized Cancer Therapy | Translational Oncology Solutions | Oncology drug development | Oncology drug discovery | Translational oncology | Translation oncology research | Predictive oncology | Patient-derived xenograft model | Tumorgrafts | Alternative/new cancer treatment | Anticancer therapies | Personalized cancer treatment | Personalized cancer therapy | Personalized oncology