Dr Bob (REW) Hancock - Associate Faculty

Bob's research group is involved in the development of novel treatments for antibiotic resistant infections. This involves investigation of the systems biology of innate immunity and bacterial pathogens, small cationic peptides as novel antimicrobials and modulators of innate immunity, and antibiotic uptake and resistance.

Bob has had major collaborations with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute since 2005 involving the genetics of host-pathogen interactions through the mouse genetics programme and Genome Canada, and the systems biology of microbial diseases and inflammation through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Research program. In 2011-2 he took a sabbatical year at the Sanger Institute where he initiated work on differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells into macrophages.

Bob Hancock was born in England and studied for his undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. After postdoctoral research in Tübingen and at UC Berkeley, he eventually became a tenured Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and a Canada Research Chair holder.

In 2012 Bob was appointed as an Associate Faculty member at the Sanger Institute. His research interests include the investigation of small cationic peptides from nature as anti-infectives and modulators of innate immunity, the development of novel treatments and adjuvants for antibiotic resistant infections based on these templates, the systems biology of innate immunity and of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the mechanisms of antibiotic uptake and resistance.

Bob has published more than 570 papers and reviews, and is an ISI highly cited author in microbiology with more than 30,000 citations, being the most highly cited researcher in Canada according to a 2012 Globe and Mail article. He has won many awards, including the Aventis Pharmaceuticals Award from the American Society of Microbiology in 2003 and Canada's three top prizes for Health Research, namely the 2005 McLaughlin Medal of the Royal Society of Canada, the 2006 Michael Smith Prize in Health Research as Canada's Health Researcher of the Year and the 2007 Canada Council's Killam Prize. In 2001 he was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2009 he received the Order of British Columbia and in 2012 the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal.

Due to his major interest in the translation of his research, Bob has 42 patents awarded and is the co-Founder of Inimex Pharmaceuticals Inc, BioWest Therapeutics Inc, and the Centre for Drug Research and Development, and has served as a Scientific Advisory Board Member or consultant with 31 Biotech and Pharmaceutical Companies.

Selected Publications

  • Effective adjunctive therapy by an innate defense regulatory peptide in a preclinical model of severe malaria.

    Achtman AH, Pilat S, Law CW, Lynn DJ, Janot L, Mayer ML, Ma S, Kindrachuk J, Finlay BB, Brinkman FS, Smyth GK, Hancock RE and Schofield L

    Science translational medicine 2012;4;135;135ra64

  • The critical role of histone H2A-deubiquitinase Mysm1 in hematopoiesis and lymphocyte differentiation.

    Nijnik A, Clare S, Hale C, Raisen C, McIntyre RE, Yusa K, Everitt AR, Mottram L, Podrini C, Lucas M, Estabel J, Goulding D, Sanger Institute Microarray Facility, Sanger Mouse Genetics Project, Adams N, Ramirez-Solis R, White JK, Adams DJ, Hancock RE and Dougan G

    Blood 2012;119;6;1370-9

  • InnateDB: facilitating systems-level analyses of the mammalian innate immune response.

    Lynn DJ, Winsor GL, Chan C, Richard N, Laird MR, Barsky A, Gardy JL, Roche FM, Chan TH, Shah N, Lo R, Naseer M, Que J, Yau M, Acab M, Tulpan D, Whiteside MD, Chikatamarla A, Mah B, Munzner T, Hokamp K, Hancock RE and Brinkman FS

    Molecular systems biology 2008;4;218

  • An anti-infective peptide that selectively modulates the innate immune response.

    Scott MG, Dullaghan E, Mookherjee N, Glavas N, Waldbrook M, Thompson A, Wang A, Lee K, Doria S, Hamill P, Yu JJ, Li Y, Donini O, Guarna MM, Finlay BB, North JR and Hancock RE

    Nature biotechnology 2007;25;4;465-72

  • High-throughput generation of small antibacterial peptides with improved activity.

    Hilpert K, Volkmer-Engert R, Walter T and Hancock RE

    Nature biotechnology 2005;23;8;1008-12

  • Complete genome sequence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, an opportunistic pathogen.

    Stover CK, Pham XQ, Erwin AL, Mizoguchi SD, Warrener P, Hickey MJ, Brinkman FS, Hufnagle WO, Kowalik DJ, Lagrou M, Garber RL, Goltry L, Tolentino E, Westbrock-Wadman S, Yuan Y, Brody LL, Coulter SN, Folger KR, Kas A, Larbig K, Lim R, Smith K, Spencer D, Wong GK, Wu Z, Paulsen IT, Reizer J, Saier MH, Hancock RE, Lory S and Olson MV

    Nature 2000;406;6799;959-64

* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/abird