Sanger’s Head of Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation Programme honoured by EMBO

Dr Peter Campbell becomes an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization

Today (14 May 2018) Dr Peter Campbell joins 61 fellow researchers from 24 countries in being elected to membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). EMBO was created to promote excellence in molecular life sciences in Europe and each year recognises new members on the basis of scientific excellence.

Election as an EMBO Member is a testament to the significant contribution made to science by a researcher. Its membership is comprised of more than 1,800 of the world’s foremost researchers in fields ranging from molecular biology and plant sciences, to infectious diseases, cancer and immunology.

“I am honoured to be elected to EMBO. My work in cancer genomics to discover the underlying genetic roots of cancer is both built on, and applied to, molecular biology to unpick the interplay of biological pathways within cancer cells. For this reason, I am thrilled to be recognised by my peers in this way. Cancer is a multi-faceted condition that requires large-scale collaboration and innovation to study and this award is recognition of the talents and efforts of all those I have worked with over the years and I thank them. EMBO plays a valuable role in promoting scientific partnerships across countries to foster high-quality science and drive the next wave of discovery.”

Dr Peter Campbell Head of the Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation Programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute

Dr Campbell has had a major influence on the field of cancer genomics, through his groundbreaking analyses of somatic mutations in tumours. His research has identified new genes involved in a range of leukaemias and bone cancers, and discovered key mechanisms that drive the development of certain tumours by causing catastrophic damage to the genome.

Peter has also pioneered the innovative use of technology and computation to advance the genomic study of cancer and enhance clinical practice. By applying cutting-edge techniques in DNA sequencing and cell biology, Dr Campbell has systematically defined the landscape of mutation in cancer genomes at the highest possible resolution, and demonstrated that mutational data can be used to guide patients’ treatments in acute myeloid leukaemia.

“I have worked alongside Peter for many years and his dedication to leading the development of new technologies, global collaborations, fundamental discoveries and translation for patient benefit is inspirational. His leadership of the Cancer programme at the Sanger Institute and within the International Cancer Genome Consortium is shaping the future of cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. His election is fully merited and I am delighted he has received this honour.”

Professor Sir Mike Stratton Director of the Sanger Institute

Founded in 1964 to serve, what was then, the emerging discipline of molecular biology, EMBO recognises and fosters talented scientists. It seeks to achieve the highest scientific standards and promote cross-border exchange and collaborative research.

The organization’s members are actively involved in the execution of the organization’s initiatives by serving on EMBO Council, Committees and Editorial Boards, by evaluating applications for EMBO funding, by mentoring young scientists and by providing suggestions and feedback on activities.

“EMBO Members are leading scientists working across all of the life sciences. They also strengthen the research community in Europe and beyond through their international collaborations and connections.”

Professor Maria Leptin EMBO Director

Peter will be formally welcomed at the Members’ Meeting in Heidelberg between 24 and 26 October 2018.

More information

Selected websites

  • European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)

    EMBO is an organization of more than 1,800 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe. For more information:

  • Wellcome Sanger Institute

    The Wellcome Sanger Institute is one of the world's leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease. To celebrate its 25th year in 2018, the Institute is sequencing 25 new genomes of species in the UK. Find out more at or follow @sangerinstitute

  • Wellcome

    Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.