Events calendar

Converging on cancer seminar series – engineering, physical sciences and multidisciplinary approaches to advance cancer research (Melcher and Ishihara)

3 Jun 2021, 15:00 PM

Please join us for a live webinar on the 3rd June 15.00–16.00 at which Professor Axel Behrens (Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre Scientific Director) is pleased to host Professor Alan Melcher and Dr Jun Ishihara. 

In this series of webinars brought to you by the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre at Imperial College London and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, researchers across the two organisations will discuss key challenges facing cancer research and opportunities for new convergence science approaches to address these. Join us to consider how novel approaches and technologies could shed light on unresolved problems in cancer biology, to innovate new ways to address challenges in cancer and bring pioneering treatments to cancer patients faster.  


Professor Alan Melcher – The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust 

The clinical challenge of cancer immunotherapy – blowing hot and cold’ 


Immunotherapy is now an established treatment for many cancers, but the underlying biology of successful treatment is poorly understood; clinical trials are currently racing ahead of scientific understanding.  This talk will introduce the concept of immune ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ tumours, which impacts on the likelihood of response.  Using an oncolytic virus trial as an example, Professor Melcher will discuss how translational research can help develop rational, rather than empirical, immune-based combination treatments.

Professor Melcher is currently Professor of Translational Immunotherapy at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Honorary Consultant Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. He graduated in medicine from the University of Oxford and trained in Clinical Oncology (Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy) in Cardiff, London and Leeds. Following completion of his PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) in London, he was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, before returning to the UK, where in 2007 he became Professor of Clinical Oncology and Biotherapy at Leeds, before moving to London in 2016. Professor Melcher combines a clinical practice in melanoma and head and neck cancer, with laboratory and translational research focused on oncolytic viruses, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer. He and his team are investigating how to improve the ability of oncolytic viruses to trigger immunogenic cell death in tumours. They are also working on how radiotherapy treatment of tumours impacts on the immune system and anti-tumour immunity, in patients as well as pre-clinical model systems.  These studies are designed to help us develop a more scientifically-informed, rational approach to combination immunotherapy strategies for testing in patients. 


Dr Jun Ishihara – Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London 

Protein engineering approaches for safe and efficacious immune drug development’ 


In this talk Dr Ishihara will discuss the technologies he has recently developed that enable immunotherapies to accumulate to the tumour. Dr Ishihara will also talk about new bioengineering approaches that enhance anti-tumour effects and safety of current therapy.   


Dr. Jun Ishihara received his PhD in stem cell biology from the University of Tokyo. Dr Ishihara then conducted postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Jeffrey Hubbell first at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland from 2014 to 2016 and then at the University of Chicago from 2016 to 2020 when the laboratory relocated to Chicago. Dr. Jun Ishihara has been a Lecturer in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London since July 2020. 





To receive information about how to access this event please email


Please note: This webinar is exclusively available only to colleagues across the Institute of Cancer Research, Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and Imperial College Healthcare.