ARU cancer expert to deliver free lunchtime talk

Published: 13 May 2022 at 15:27


Professor Parris will explain how ARU is playing role in developing new treatment

Professor Chris Parris will deliver a lunchtime talk on Wednesday, 18 May focusing on the latest advances in cancer research, including how Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is playing a key role in the development of a potential new treatment for cancer.

Professor Parris, who is Head of Life Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), completed his PhD in the cell biology of cancer at University College London in 1989, and has since specialised in human DNA repair mechanisms and how inherited defects in DNA repair can lead to an increased risk of cancer.

An internationally recognised researcher in this field, as well as specialising in human DNA repair systems Professor Parris’ research areas include experimental cancer treatments and the development of diagnostic tests to predict patient response to anticancer therapies, such as drugs and radiotherapy.

His talk, which is free to attend online and is open to the public, will provide a detailed but accessible insight into the causes, incidence, and diagnosis of cancer, as well as how ARU students are contributing to important research into a novel cancer treatment.  

ARU is collaborating with biopharmaceutical company Medannex to study the antibody MDX-124, which could potentially be used to treat a variety of cancers. 

Laboratory work by ARU students has helped to show how MDX-124 inhibits Annexin-A1 (ANXA1), which is a protein that plays a role in the development of a number of cancers.  ARU students have also investigated how MDX-124 works in combination with several chemotherapy drugs, such as gemcitabine.

Research co-authored by Professor Parris into how MDX-124 leads to the reduced growth of triple-negative breast cancer cells was presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December 2021, while details of its effectiveness in reducing the growth, proliferation and spread of pancreatic cancer cells were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium in San Francisco earlier this year.  The first human trial involving MDX-124 is due to begin soon.

Professor Parris said:

“I hope my talk will be of interest to a range of students, including those interested in or currently involved in biomedical and health research, as well as of course the general public.  I’m also very proud to be sharing details of some of the important cancer research that is being carried out right here at ARU, including by many current students.” 


The free online talk begins at 1pm on Wednesday, 18 May, and there will be the opportunity to ask questions during the talk. To register, please visit