Focus on the Scientific Committee

Maria Hawkins

Associate Professor in Clinical Oncology, MRC Clinical Group Leader/Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist, CRUK MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology

University of Oxford, UK





About you

What area of cancer research do you specialise in and how did you get in to it?

Advanced radiotherapy technologies with a focus on gastro-intestinal malignancies. I have been a research fellow in Princess Margaret, Toronto and have been inspired by the untapped potential of improving the way we deliver radiotherapy


What inspired you to forge a career in cancer research?

I wanted to improve radiotherapy outcomes (cure and QoL) for patients seen in clinic


What have you been working on most recently?

Developing a model to predict personalised small bowel toxicity when receiving radiotherapy so we can personalise treatment to reduce toxicity and better inform patients about their own risk


What do you perceive to be the biggest challenges in cancer research?

We are at the beginning of personalising treatments, and providing personalised tretments for everyone to cure cancers is tricky but something we aspire to


What do you consider to be the most exciting development in cancer research at present?

The opportunities given by combining radiation with immune stimulation


What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Developing and renewing the funding for my research group


About the Scientific Committee


What has been the biggest challenge of being a member of the Committee?

Ensuring we cover all novel research for all aspects of cancer: from prevention to cure


What have you enjoyed most about being on the Committee?

Meeting colleagues  from other areas of cancer treatments


Will participants get the chance to talk with you and other members of the Committee during the Conference?

Yes – they can tweet or come and talk to us


How have the Committee chosen what will appear on the programme?

With difficulty! We want to enthuse researchers and clinicians so this can be challenging at times


Looking forward to the 2017 NCRI Cancer Conference


What are you looking forward to most about this year’s Conference?

The sessions on immunooncology.


What do you predict to be the highlights of this year’s Conference?

Tough question, for me protons and role of immune oncology


What would you say to convince people to attend this year’s Conference?

If you want to be inspired by novel research in your day to day job (as a researcher and clinician) and meet dome old and new friends please come to NCRI annual meeting


How will attending the Conference benefit students and those in the early stages of their career?

They will see research form bench to bedside, they will be able to meet and talk to other students and senior investigators, and hopefully form new frienships and collaborations


Why should researchers submit their work to this Conference?

This is the flagship meeting to show your research, everyone will be there!


If you could sum up the Conference in three words, what would it be and why?

Novel, breakthrough and fun  (excellent science and good networking opportunities)


Just for fun

What has life taught you?

There is always a way forward


What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Reading and skiing


Where would your dream holiday be?

Somewhere near Mont Blanc


Describe yourself in three words

Inquisitive, dedicated, kind


Name three things you would take with you to a desert island.

A dictionary, ice-cream and gloves