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Salvador Moncada

Research Domain Director, Cancer

Professor Sir Salvador Moncada was appointed as Research Domain Director for Cancer in August 2016.

He was previously Director of the Institute of Cancer Sciences at Manchester and, before that, Professor of Translational Medicine and Strategic Advisor at the Centre for Cellular Metabolism in the Institute of Human Development.

He came to Manchester in 2013 from UCL (University College London), where he founded and directed the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research.

Professor Moncada's scientific career began at the Royal College of Surgeons, where he collaborated in the discovery that aspirin-like drugs inhibit the metabolism of arachidonic acid.

This finding clarified the mechanism by which these drugs act as pain relievers, control temperature and reduce inflammation and explained the mechanism by which they cause gastric damage.

During his time at the Wellcome Research Laboratories, Professor Moncada led the team whose work contributed to the understanding of how low doses of aspirin prevent cardiovascular episodes such as heart attacks and strokes.

He also presided over the work that resulted in the development of several new medicines, including lapatinib for the treatment of breast cancer.

The identification of prostacyclin and of nitric oxide as biological mediators and their importance in the cardiovascular system have been his scientific career highlights. His work on nitric oxide also provided much information about the roles of this substance in the peripheral and central nervous system and in cancer.

Professor Moncada's recent work has focused on the areas of mitochondrial biology and how cells utilise their metabolism to support proliferation.