The Bone Cancer Research Trust funds the highest quality research into primary bone cancer and to ensure this happens the charity follows a rigorous peer review process. This process includes expert external reviewers and our Independent Scientific Advisory Panel (ISAP) who rank and recommended projects to the Board of Trustees for funding.

ISAP is a panel of experts with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise covering science, clinical oncology and patient perspective. The nine members on the panel jointly review grant applications for relevance, scientific merit, cost and suitability. They also conduct interviews for Studentship and Fellowship applications. The aim of the panel is to ensure applications for funding are scientifically sound, feasible to deliver and fulfil the aims of the charity to ultimately improve outcomes for patients.

Meet the Independent Scientific Advisory Panel

Chair: Professor Pamela Kearns MBChB, BSc (Hons), PhD, FRCPCH

Professor Pam Kearns is Chair of Clinical Paediatric Oncology at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital. She is Director of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and Director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU). She leads the research strategy for one of UK's largest cancer trials units, delivering a trials portfolio of over 100 multi-centre & international cancer trials for a wide-range of cancers, notably leading the National Children’s Cancer Trials Team which is responsible for the vast majority of the UK’s clinical trial portfolio for children and young people with cancer.

Deputy Chair: Professor Bob Brown BSc PhD

Principal Investigator of the Cancer Research UK research programme, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Resistance, and Co-Principal Investigator in the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre.

Robert Brown is Professor of Translational Oncology and has a joint post between Imperial College London and The Institute of Cancer Research, London. Professor Brown’s work focuses on epigenetics, patient stratification and drug resistance research, with a particular focus on ovarian cancer. He facilitates development of compounds which can reverse epigenetic silencing and is using molecular biomarker assays to aid the preclinical development and clinical use of these compounds.

Lay member: Dr Phillip Green

GP and Bone Cancer Research Trust Ambassador

Dr Green suffered from osteosarcoma at 17 years of age, resulting in a left mid-thigh amputation, he now acts as GP Advisor for the Bone Cancer Research Trust. He advises on the medical content of patient literature, the promotion of medical education to enable earlier diagnosis, the clinical trials funding strategy and is the patient representative on the ISAP Group. He has authored a BMJ Learning Module on primary bone cancers and a chapter in the medical textbook ‘An Orthopaedics Guide for Today’s GPs’.

He is also a Member of Sarcoma Patients EuroNet (SPAEN) and patient advocate representative on two trial management groups for large international areas of research. He combines these activities with his day job working as a General Practitioner in Leicestershire, fulfilling his duties in Primary Care Medicine over the last 19 years.

Professor Andy Hall MBBS, FRCP, PhD, FRCPath

Emeritus Professor, Newcastle University.

Professor Andy Hall is Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University where his research focused on understanding factors controlling responses to anti-cancer drugs. Since retirement, he has continued as a member of the Human Tissue Authority and has joined a local NHS research ethics committee. He is deputy chair of the NCRI's Cellular Molecular Pathology initiative (CM-Path). He maintains a special interest in promoting and facilitating access to tissues for medical research, particularly in rare cancers.

Mr Piers Gaunt BSc MSc

Senior Statistician, UK Clinical Trials Unit, Birmingham.

Piers Gaunt is a Senior Biostatistician at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham. He is responsible for the design and analysis of several trials within the CRCTU in various cancer types including soft tissue sarcoma, lung, skin and head and neck cancers.

Mr Gaunt has a keen interest in efficient clinical trials methodology, encompassing adaptive trial design. He participates in a number of statistical Small Group Teaching sessions to Clinical Oncology and Medical students and has also lectured on other courses within the university. He is fully committed to working to improve patient outcomes with an emphasis on survival and quality of life using efficient statistical methodology.

Dr Paulo Ribeiro BSc MSc PhD

Senior Lecturer and Group Leader, Bart's Cancer Institute.

Dr Ribeiro completed his undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, where he studied Microbial Biology and Genetics. He entered the Gulbenkian PhD Programme in Biomedicine at the Gulbenkian Institute and undertook his doctoral research at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, in the characterisation of the role of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins in the regulation of cell death and innate immunity.

In 2009, he joined the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, and in 2013, he moved to Bart’s Cancer Institute in the Centre for Tumour Biology. His research focuses on the role of protein modifications in the regulation of tissue growth, tissue invasion and modelling tumour heterogeneity.

Professor Thomas G P Grünewald MD

University of Heidelberg, Germany

Professor Thomas Grünewald studied medicine at the University of Würzburg (Germany), after completing clinical rotations in Germany, Japan, USA, UK, and Argentina. He obtained his M.D. in clinical biochemistry in 2008 before starting his clinical training in paediatric oncology at the Department of Paediatrics of the TU Munich (TUM). In 2012, he obtained his PhD in Medical Life Science and Technology from TUM. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Curie in Paris, in 2014, he was appointed resident physician and principal investigator at the Institute of Pathology of the LMU Munich. In 2020 he was appointed head of the division of Translational Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Hopp-Children’s Cancer Center (KiTZ) in Heidelberg. Since 2021 he has held a full Professorship at the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg. In parallel, he continues his residency in pathology at the Institute of Pathology of the Heidelberg University Hospital.

His research aims to elucidate the interplay of germline variation and somatic mutation especially in Ewing sarcoma and examines how somatic driver mutations interfere with developmental pathways to promote tumorigenesis, tumour heterogeneity and drug-resistance.

Dr Nathalie Gaspar

Paediatric oncologist, Institut de Cancérologie Gustave Roussy, France.

Dr Nathalie Gasparis a paediatric oncologist at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute (Villejuif, France) head of the adolescent and young adult (AYA) unit and chair of the AYA programme of the institute (SPIAJA programme) Dr Gaspar is also paediatric head of the French bone adult and paediatric sarcoma group, GROUPOS. She is actively involved in early new drug development in France and in Europe, through her participation to the clinical trial committee of the Innovative Therapeutics for Child and adolescent with Cancer (ITCC) consortium and through her action as co-chair of the Fostering Age Inclusive Research (FAIR) trial initiative of the multi-stakeholder ACCELERATE platform.

Dr Didier Surdez

Assistant Professor, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Dr Didier Surdez studied at the University of Basel (Switzerland), graduating with a degree in pharmacy (PharmD) in 2001. He then moved to Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL (Switzerland) where he obtained is PhD in 2007. After a post-doctoral stay in Professor Olivier Delattre's laboratory, in 2014, he was appointed as senior scientist at the Institut Curie in Paris. In 2021, he became assistant professor at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and group leader at the Balgrist University Hospital. His research focusing on the identification of therapeutic vulnerabilities against bone sarcomas.

His research on Ewing sarcoma has highlighted key EWSR1-FLI1 targets (PRKCB), vulnerabilities (PARPi) and secondary alterations (STAG2) in this cancer. Since 2012, he has been actively involved in the EE2012, rEECur and Combinair3 clinical trials.