Prof Alison Banham is currently Professor of Haemato-oncology and Head of the Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, within the Radcliffe Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford.
Her academic qualifications include BA, MA and D.Phil. (PhD) degrees from the University of Oxford and Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists. Professor Banham is a member of the British Lymphoma Pathology Study Group and a founder member and currently Vice President of the European Network of Monoclonal Antibody Producing Laboratories.
Having originally studied Botany and then Biochemistry she was introduced to monoclonal antibody technology in 1990, through making antibodies for the detection of food spoilage fungi. Since 1995 her main research focus has been within the field of cancer, particularly lymphoma, focussing initially on the identification and characterisation of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and more recently, since 2009, expanding into novel antibody therapeutics.
Antibody therapeutics are focussed primarily of targeting the tumour vasculature, in particular the Notch signalling pathway and on the development of TCR mimic antibodies which recognise peptides from intracellular tumour proteins that are presented on the cell surface by MHC class I molecules. This work is supported by Cancer Research UK. Funding from Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research supports investigation into a family of forehead transcription factors that play a critical role in the pathogenesis of lymphoma and other types of cancer. These molecules play an important role in enabling tumour cells to evade the host immune response.
Prof Banham is happy to undertake outreach activities. She is a STEM Ambassador and a volunteer for the Inspiring the Future Campaign.