Professor, Cancer Institute, University College London
My laboratory has undertaken studies on the PI 3-kinase (PI3K) signalling system that have defined mechanisms and physiological processes relevant to cancer, immunology disorders and overgrowth syndromes that these enzymes control. Our research has contributed to the development of approved medicines. We discovered PI3Kdelta which we took from gene cloning and preclinical modelling to the generation of PI3Kdelta inhibitors and the development of clinical strategies to inhibit this PI3K isoform. These studies underpinned the approval of PI3Kdelta-inhibitors for leukaemia and their emerging use in solid tumour immunotherapy. With my collaborators, we developed a unique genetic approach to create an unparalleled series of mouse models that allowed to uncover the roles of multiple PI3K family members in human biology, and to faithfully predict organismal PI3K inhibitor activity. Ongoing studies include the generation of novel PI3K modulators and cancer prevention. B.V. is an elected member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) and of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.