Events calendar

“Converging on Cancer”- Dr Burak Temelkuran and Dr Anguraj Sadanandam

1 Jun 2023, 15:00 PM

Please join us online on Thursday 1st June, from 15.00-16.00


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.


Hosted by our Scientific Director, Professor Axel Behrens, the series aims to support the Centre's mission to facilitate collaboration between traditionally separate and distinct disciplines.


Please join us online on Thursday 1st June, from 15.00-16.00, for a talk from:


Dr Burak Temelkuran – Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Imperial College London


“Medical Fibres for Therapeutics, Diagnostics and Robotics”


At the beginning of the new millennium, a polymer sheet coated with a chalcogenide glass, rolled around a sacrificial mandrel and drawn into a fibre, presented a number of novelties: A new way of guiding light, a waveguide not limited by its materials’ optical properties and hence having the ability to transmit light at any chosen wavelength, nanometre scale control of features and geometries at kilometre length scales, and last but not least, first steps of the field of multimaterial fibres that changed the way we think about fibres. The resulting fibre found its immediate application in the medical field and served about half a million patients up to date in various surgical specialities as a precise optical scalpel, enabling high-precision removal of cancer. With the enriched choice of materials and the development of manufacturing technologies, we have focused on exploring further the potential contribution of multimaterial fibres to medicine. Together with clinicians, scientists, and engineers, we are investigating the therapeutic, diagnostic, and robotic applications of these materials to enhance our understanding and treatment of cancer, utilising the potential of integrating and miniaturising various functions on a single fibre.

Dr Temelkuran received his MS (1996) and PhD (2000) degrees from the Department of Physics at Bilkent University, Turkey. As a postdoctoral researcher at MIT (2000-2002), Dr Temelkuran has contributed to the discovery of the 1D omnidirectional reflecting fibre. His research led to a number of foundational publications that pioneered the field of multi-material fibres. He led the technology transfer process of this fibre to a start-up company, and he was actively present at every step of the translation of his invention from the laboratory to operating theatres. His invention has been used in over 500,000 laser surgeries to date, mostly helping cancer patients. Dr Temelkuran joined the Hamlyn Centre in 2016 and has been a lecturer in the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction since 2021. Dr Temelkuran’s team focuses on the medical application of multi-material fibres: Functional fibres for minimally invasive interventions, fibre robots, fibre sensors, laser delivery mechanisms, laser-tissue interactions of surgical lasers, and their therapeutic and diagnostic applications. His research targets unmet needs in medicine, with his expertise in the field of multi-material fibres and his 15 years of experience in the medical industry bridging engineering and medical sciences.





Dr Anguraj Sadanandam – Division of Molecular Pathology, the Institute of Cancer Research, London.


“Revealing Heterogeneity in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma to Unleash Novel Therapeutic Approaches”


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is most challenging cancer type to treat due to its abysmal prognosis. Current treatment approaches primarily rely on cytotoxic chemotherapies that provide only modest benefits, primarily due to the high heterogeneity exhibited by PDA. This heterogeneity is characterised by diverse cancer cell characteristics, desmoplastic stroma, altered metabolism, and limited immunogenicity. In this talk, I aim to explore the impact of these distinct factors on the response of PDA tumours to mono- and combination therapies. By characterizing each of these factors, we have identified subgroups of PDA tumours that exhibit potentially different responses to various treatment approaches in vivo, including agonistic antibodies. Notably, we have observed differential dependencies on uridine, KRAS, and GATA6, which may be connected to specific responses to immunochemotherapy in PDA. Overall, this presentation aims to shed light on the diverse nature of PDA and provide insights into targeted therapeutic strategies that can exploit its heterogeneity.

Dr Sadanandam is a Director, Centre for Global Oncology and Reader in Stratified and Precision Medicine at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London. He is currently applying his multidisciplinary skills to the integrated science of stratified medicine to understand cell-of-origin and heterogeneity, and test precise therapies for different subtypes of GI cancers, including pancreatic cancer. To this point, his team develops and applies primarily AI/ML approaches that generate hypotheses to validate further using pre-clinical models and clinical studies (by profiling clinical samples and developing companion diagnostics). Dr Sadanandam led/co-led the research work to define transcriptome/multi-omics subtypes of pancreatic, colorectal, gastroesophageal, and breast cancers associated with prognosis and potential personalized therapies (multiple high-impact publications). These subtypes and classifications are highly cited and applied by the clinical research communities. He contributes to various consortia and clinical studies, including ColoRectal Cancer Subtyping Consortium (CRCSC in 2015), COLOSSUS consortium (EU), and the Indian Cancer Genome Atlas (ICGA) project (Founding Member).  Dr Sadanandam initiated the Centre for Global Oncology at the ICR to enhance cancer research and clinical data orchestration in low-middle income countries (LMIC; including India) and avoid disparity in research. 


Please note: This webinar is exclusively available to colleagues from the Institute of Cancer Research, the Royal Marsden, Imperial and Imperial College Healthcare. Do not forward to colleagues outside of these organisations.


Next seminars


  • 15th June: Prof Marina Kuimova (Chemistry, Imperial), Dr Oscar Calderon Agudo (Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial)
  • 29th June: Dr Astero Klampatsa (Cancer Therapeutics, ICR) & Dr Maria Papathanasiou (Chemical Engineering, Imperial)