Prof. Ashok Venkitaraman

Ursula Zoellner Professor; Director of MRC Cancer Cell Unit, Fellow of Pembroke College


Ashok Venkitaraman is the Ursula Zoellner Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Cambridge, and directs the Medical Research Council Cancer Unit there. His work has advanced our understanding of how cancer is prevented by genes that maintain the integrity of the information stored in the human genome. He discovered that inherited faults (“mutations”) in the breast cancer gene BRCA2 cause genomic instability, making people who inherit such mutations highly susceptible to cancer. Ashok’s discoveries have provided the scientific foundations for new approaches to cancer treatment and prevention, which are being developed through start-up ventures towards clinical impact. His work has been recognized in numerous awards and prizes, and by his election to national and international scientific academies.