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Dr Gavin Bowen-Metcalf

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences

Gavin is a Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences who takes a student-focused approach to teaching, creating an inspiring learning environment that is inclusive and supportive. He has broad translational research experience in the fields of molecular oncology, genomics and histopathology within the NHS, academia and industry.

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Gavin joined the School of Life Sciences in 2021. He is a Cancer Biologist, with a broad research experience and interests that cover numerous aspects of cancer including development, invasion/migration, diagnosis, drug resistance and identification of novel drug targets.

Gavin completed his research training at Imperial College London, being awarded a Masters of Research in Oncology and Cancer Biology and a joint multidisciplinary PhD in Clinical Medicine and Biomedical Engineering. Whilst at Imperial, he developed a comprehensive knowledge of molecular oncology including cancer cell signalling pathways and diagnostics, as well as organic chemistry skills, including the design and development of novel fluorogenic biosensors.

Gavin also completed a postdoctoral research role at the Barts Cancer Institute, London. Research explored stem cell evolution and progression to cancer in disease states that predispose to adenocarcinoma, via histopathological means. Gavin has also previously been employed within the medical devices industry, the NHS, and the medical regulatory industry.

Gavin is an author on numerous peer-reviewed journals, and is also a Non-Executive Director for the leukodystrophy charity, Alex TLC.

Spoken Languages
  • English (Native)
  • German (Working knowledge)
  • British Sign Language (Levels 1-3)
Research interests
  • Non-coding RNAs, e.g. microRNAs, and their roles in cancer development and spread
  • Novel cancer diagnostics
  • Identification of novel cancer drug targets
  • Cell signalling pathways and their roles in cancer progression
Areas of research supervision

MSc Student supervision – novel cancer therapeutics in Breast Cancer models.


BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science

BSc (Hons) Data Science

  • Doctorate (Joint) Clinical Medicine (Oncology) and Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London
  • MRes (DIC) Oncology and Cancer Biology, Imperial College London
  • BSc (Hons) Human Biosciences, University of Northampton
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Member, European Association for Cancer Research
  • Member, Royal Society of Biology
  • Member, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Member, Royal Society of Medicine
  • Member, British Pharmacological Society
  • Trustee, Alex TLC (The Leukodystrophy Charity)
  • Registered Scientist, The Science Council
Selected recent publications

Waddingham, W., Cross, W. C. H., Metcalf, G., Sekine, S., Jansen, M., 2019. Quantifying the Clonal Expansion of Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia in vivo at Single Cell Resolution. Journal of Pathology, 248, S5-S5.

Al Sulaiman, D., Metcalf, G., Ladame., S, 2017. Engineering innovative solutions to screen for prostate cancer. Convergent Science Physical Oncology, 3, 016001. doi: 10.1088/2057-1739/aa5ebe

Metcalf, G. et al., 2016. Amplification-free detection of circulating microRNA biomarkers from body fluids based on fluorogenic oligonucleotide-templated reaction between engineered Peptide Nucleic Acid probes: application to prostate cancer diagnosis. Analytical Chemistry, 88, pp. 8091-8098. ACS Editors’ Choice. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b01594

Choi, Y., Metcalf, G., Haj Sleiman, M., Vair-Turnbull, D., Ladame, S., 2014. Oligonucleotide-templated reactions based on Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) probes: concept and biomedical applications. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 22, pp. 4395-4398. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2014.05.071

Media experience

Metcalf, G., 2014. Early Warnings: Molecular probes that identify the ‘signature’ molecules of cancer. The Biologist, 61(6), pp. 29-31.