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Fellows Directory

Stephen Jackson

Professor Stephen Jackson FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2008


Steve Jackson has unravelled the complex processes by which cells protect their genetic information. His research has also led to a new type of cancer drug that is being used to treat ovarian cancer and that holds promise for treating various other intractable cancers with minimal side effects.

He discovered various DNA repair proteins and showed how they function in yeast and human cells. He also connected their dysfunction to cancer, developmental defects, ageing and immunodeficiency. Based on his academic work, Steve founded a company that developed various drugs with anti-cancer potential; several are in clinical trials by a large pharmaceutical firm and one, Olaparib, has become a registered drug in the European Union and United States.

He has since launched a new company developing small molecules that intervene in DNA repair pathways. Steve was the youngest person to be elected to a chair at the University of Cambridge since Isaac Newton: amongst other prizes, he won the inaugural BBSRC Innovator of the Year Award in 2009 and the Royal Society Buchanan Medal in 2011.

Professional positions

Professor of Biology, University of Cambridge
Head of Cancer Research UK Laboratories, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge
Chief Scientific Officer, MISSION Therapeutics Ltd
Associate Faculty Member, Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Basic cancer research, Cancer therapy, DNA repair, Molecular biology


  • Buchanan Medal

    For his outstanding contributions to understanding DNA repair and DNA-damage-response signalling pathways.