Johann de Bono is Regius Professor of Cancer Research and a Professor in Experimental Cancer Medicine at The Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden. He is also the Director of The Drug Development Unit, overseeing the conduct of Phase I trials, with a particular interest in innovative trial designs, circulating biomarkers and prostate cancer. Additionally, he leads the Prostate Cancer Targeted Therapy Clinical Trials Team and the Cancer Biomarkers laboratory team.
Johann de Bono graduated from the University of Glasgow medical school in 1989, graduating as a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) in 1992. He was awarded a four-year Cancer Research Campaign Clinical Fellowship, which allowed him to pursue a PhD between 1993 and 1997. He trained in medical oncology, and was awarded an MSc (Cancer Sciences) from Glasgow University. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow then awarded him a travelling scholarship that allowed him to pursue further research on the challenges of clinical trial design at the SWOG statistical headquarters at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Centre in Seattle, USA in 1999. Between 2000 and 2003 he then pursued further research developing novel anti-cancer drugs at the Institute for Drug Development within the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio.
In 2003, Professor de Bono was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and in 2009, he was elected as a Member of the Malta Order of Merit. He received the prestigious ESMO Award in 2012 and was part of the ICR/RMH team awarded the AACR Team Science Award. He also received an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for his team’s work in developing Abiraterone.
In 2015 Professor de Bono was named among the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”, and in 2016 named as Regius Professor of Cancer Research, a rare award bestowed by the Sovereign by Royal Warrant to recognise exceptionally high-quality research at an Institution.
Professor de Bono has been involved in the development of many novel agents, many of which are now approved drugs, functioning as chief investigator on Phase I trials such as Abiraterone, Olaparib and Afatinib. He has served as chief investigator of multiple drugs that have changed the standard of care for prostate cancer patients including abiraterone, cabazitaxel and enzalutamide and has published more than 400 manuscripts including multiple publications in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. He has led on the study of circulating tumour cells, whole blood expression profiling and plasma DNA in metastatic prostate cancer patients and pioneered the concept of patient molecular stratification in early clinical trials in the Pharmacological Audit Trail.