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Prof Anne Kiltie - Professor of Experimental Clinical Oncology

Anne KiltieAnne divides her time between running a laboratory of post-docs and students at the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute of Radiation Oncology, University of Oxford, and work as an Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Her research investigates DNA damage signalling and repair in bladder cancer. It also investigates  the potential to exploit these to develop biomarkers to help patients choose the best treatment for their tumour and drugs which will act as effective tumour radiosensitisers whilst sparing normal tissues as much as possible. 

Anne’s clinical work mainly involves the delivery of radiotherapy and chemoradiation treatments to patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

 

Running a lab involves far more management of people than a mainstream NHS consultant job
- Prof A Kiltie

Anne is also Chair of Examiners for the MSc in Radiobiology, University of Oxford, and a member of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology Radiobiology Committee and the British Uro-oncology Group Committee. Finally, she has recently served on the CRUK Biomarkers and Imaging Discovery and Development grant funding committee.

Anne is inspired in her work by her patients, an increasingly elderly but sprightly group with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. She wishes to help them decide on the best treatment for them and also to find drugs that can be given with radiotherapy which could be tolerated by patients in their 80s and 90s. 

Anne is also very passionate about promoting public engagement in science and encourages her lab members to become involved. With CRUK and Channel 4, she was involved in the development of 'Reverse the Odds', a mobile app which allows members of the public to score patient bladder samples as citizen scientists.

About clinical academia

Anne believes that:

  • Good time management and juggling skills are necessary to be able to fulfil both clinical and academic roles simultaneously, and keeping a good work-life balance helps to preserve your sanity.
  • The ability to cope with the highs and lows of research, including the elation of winning grants and getting papers published and the dejection on having grants and papers rejected, is essential.
  • Running a lab involves far more management of people than a mainstream NHS consultant job, and it is necessary to have the ability to inspire both students at various levels and post-doctoral scientists, and to gain their respect as a clinician scientist.

Pathway to clinical academia

Anne was a late starter, as she didn't go into research until she was 31.

She studied pre-clinical medicine at Cambridge from 1982-85 before moving to Oxford to the Clinical School. After house jobs in 1988-9, she joined the British Army and was sent to the First Gulf War in a field ambulance on the day she passed MRCP Part I. She fortunately passed MRCP before she was due to leave the army and then went to start her Clinical Oncology training at the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

After passing FRCR, she went into the labs at the Paterson Institute, Manchester, and obtained her Oxford DM there in radiobiology. She completed her clinical training at Cookridge Hospital, Leeds, and was fortunate to have the opportunity to work for two years at ICRF Clare Hall in the labs of Professor Tomas Lindahl (now Nobel prizewinner).

Anne returned to Leeds as a Senior Lecturer in a half-and-half job in 2001, before being awarded a CRUK Clinician Scientist award in 2006 which freed up more time for research. She moved to Oxford in 2009 to set up her group here, and was made an Associate Professor in 2014 and Senior Clinical Group Leader in 2015. Finally, in 2016 she was made Full Professor and obtained her DSc, having submitted her published papers to the Examination Schools.

 

September 2016