Breast cancer expert in world top 20

08 Oct 2010 10:46:09.157

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A University of Nottingham academic has been named among the world’s top 20 most influential experts on breast cancer.

Ian Ellis, Professor of Cancer Pathology within the University’s School of Molecular Medical Sciences, is one of just four UK academics to appear on the Global Top 20 list produced by Lnx Pharma, a market research firm specialising in key opinion leaders in the pharmaceutical industry.

Professor Ellis said: “Of course I am very flattered by this, but it is really a reflection of the excellent track record that we have here in Nottingham in the understanding of the fundamental biology of breast cancer and its clinical management.

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“I work as part of a strong dedicated network of researchers and clinicians who are committed to translating the latest scientific knowledge into new treatments and approaches for the patients we see coming through our clinic doors every day.”

The author of more than 400 peer reviewed scientific publications, Professor Ellis is a member of the research cluster Cancer Research Nottingham and is an expert in the biology of breast cancer at a molecular level.

This, along with his position as Honorary Consultant Pathologist for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, working in the Breast Unit and Department of Histopathology, puts him at the interface between scientific discovery and innovative new treatments for patients, working with a multidisciplinary team that includes cell biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, surgeons, oncologists and radiologists.

His current research centres on mapping patients’ individual breast cancer characteristics and providing a tailored approach to managing the disease.

Nottingham has been a centre of excellence in breast cancer for many years — the 1980s saw the development of a new system of ‘histological grading’ which is now used as the gold standard for classifying breast cancers around the world.

Professor Ellis was a founder member of the faculty of the Nottingham International Breast Education Centre, established in 1988 at the Nottingham City Hospital Campus to provide training to health professionals in all aspects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Lnx Pharma applied social network analysis to more than 20,000 articles published within the last three years related to breast cancer and a 44,000-strong worldwide core community of breast cancer researchers to reveal key opinion leaders, power clusters and centres of excellence around the world.

Social network analysis is a science which recognises that those individuals who are most deeply or widely connected to a network have the greater likelihood of gaining acceptance for their ideas, and for innovating through exposure to new ideas.

Philip Topham, General Manager of Lnx Pharma, said: “It’s fascinating to watch a network map unfold, particularly in such a large pool of researchers as breast cancer. You can literally see patterns emerge around people and geographical regions, as well as specific segments within the field of study.

“What generally comes out in the end is not just a list of names, but actually a topographical map that can be used by pharmaceutical companies and governments in their strategies.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

University facts and figures at:

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Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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