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Professor Christopher N. Parris

Head of School of Life Sciences

Medical Technology Research Centre

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Cell and Molecular Biology , Cancer biology , Molecular diagnostics
Research Supervision:

Professor Chris Parris joined Anglia Ruskin University in April 2017 where he is Head of the School of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science and Engineering

[email protected]


Previous to arriving at ARU, Chris was employed at Brunel University, West London where for the past three years he was Head of the Biosciences Division in the College of Health and Life Sciences. 

He completed his first degree in Biology at Nottingham University and after a short period as a qualified Biomedical Scientist in the NHS (Histopathology and Cytology), completed his PhD in the cell biology of cancer at University College London in 1989. 

Chris is an active researcher and has developed a thriving research group in the area of human DNA repair mechanisms and how inherited defects in DNA repair leads to extreme patient hypersensitivity to DNA damaging agents and increased cancer risk. He is also a member of the Biomedical Research Group.

Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Beginners Japanese
Research interests
  • Cancer research
  • Human DNA repair systems
  • Development of diagnostic tests to predict patient response to anticancer therapy
  • Experimental cancer treatments
Areas of research supervision
  • Successful completion of 10 PhD students as first supervisor.
  • Supervision of 4 post-doctoral research fellows.

Chris is a very active lecturer and teaches cell and molecular biology and also the biology, genetics and treatment of cancer.


BSc Biology - Nottingham University (1983)
PhD - University College London (1989)

Memberships, editorial boards

Member of the Association for Radiation Research, UK

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Determining the mechanism of action of a therapeutic antibody targeting annexin pathways. PI Chris Parris, Co-I Helen Foster (Oncobiopharm Ltd, sponsored research), £123,000, 2018-19.

Determining the role of the tumour suppressor gene BAP1 in the development of uveal (eye) melanoma. The Bart’s Charity, £180,000, 2016-18.

Construction of a library of cell defective in DNA double strand break repair. Bart’s Charity, London, UK, £105,000, 2015-16.

The Development of DNA repair Biomarkers for predicting chemotherapy and radiotherapy responses in cancer patients. Bart’s Charity, London, UK, £277,000, 2013-17.

European Commission – Pharmas – Ecological and human health risk assessments of antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs found in the environment. Prof. John Sumpter (PI), Dr. Mark Scrimshaw (Co-I), Prof. Chris Parris (Co-I), £379,073, 2011-14.

Selected recent publications

Bourton EC, Amater- Ahorner P, Parris CN. The PARP-1 inhibitor Olaparib suppresses BRCA1 protein levels, increases apoptosis and causes radiation hypersensitivity in BRCA1+/- lymphoblastoid cells. The Journal of Cancer. J Cancer. 2017 Oct 23;8(19):4048-4056. doi: 10.7150/jca.21338. eCollection.

Wilhelm EN, González-Alonso J, Parris C, Rakobowchuk M. Exercise intensity modulates the appearance of circulating microvesicles with pro-angiogenic potential upon endothelial cell.Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2016 Nov 1;311(5):H1297-H1310. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00516.2016

Khonsari H, Schneider M, Al-Mahdawi S, Chianea YG, Themis M, Parris C, Pook MA, Themis M.Lentivirus-mediated frataxin gene delivery reverses genome instability in Friedreich ataxia patient and mouse model fibroblasts. Gene Ther. 2016 Dec;23(12):846-856.  doi: 10.1038/gt.2016.61 PMID:27518705

Bourton EC, Hussain H, Plowman PN, Harvey AJ, Parris CN. Radiosensitivity of Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines Expressing the Breast Tumor Kinase (Brk). Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy, 2015, 7(3):95-101.

Parris CN, Adam Zahir S, Al-Ali H, Bourton EC, Plowman C, Plowman PN Enhanced γ-H2AX DNA damage foci detection using multimagnification and extended depth of field in imaging flow cytometry. Cytometry A. 2015 Jun 18. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.22697. [Epub ahead of print].

Adam-Zahir S, Plowman PN, Bourton EC, Sharif F, Parris CN. Increased γ-H2AX and Rad51 DNA Repair Biomarker Expression in Human Cell Lines Resistant to the Chemotherapeutic Agents Nitrogen Mustard and  Cisplatin. Chemotherapy. 2014;60(5-6):310-20. doi: 10.1159/000430086. Epub 2015 Jul

Media experience

BBC breakfast television interview of the identification of novel genes involved in human melanoma skin cancer