Fiona Blackhall

Fiona Blackhall, PhD FRCP


Personal profile


Lung Cancer Research Group Lead, Manchester Cancer Research Centre

Lung Disease Group Chair, The Christie Foundation NHS Trust

Steering Committee Member British Thoracic Oncology Group

Advanced Disease Subgroup member, NCRI Lung Clinical Studies Group

Co-chair translational subgroup, European Thoracic Oncology Platform



My school education was in Perthshire and Aberdeen, Scotland. and undergraduate education at St Andrews and Manchester Universities.  I undertook an intercalated BSc in St Andrews in the laboratory of Dr Peter Bryant in the field of radiobiology and DNA repair.   I commenced Medical Oncology training at The Christie Hospital in 1995 and was awarded a four year Cancer Research Campaign Research PhD Fellowship for a Clinician (external award) in 1997 in the field of angiogenesis, endostatin and heparan sulphate in the laboratory of Professor John Gallagher at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Manchester.  The research involved collaboration with Professor Judah Folkman and a highlight of my thesis was the opportunity to meet with him and present my findings to his group at Harvard University, Boston in 2001.  Following my PhD I spent a two year (2001-2003) postdoctoral and clinical fellowship in the field of lung cancer and translational research with Drs Frances Shepherd, Medical Oncologist  and Ming-Sound Tsao, Molecular Pathologist at Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto and Ontario Cancer Institute, Canada.  Experience involved participation in clinical trials of novel therapies including EGFR-TKIs , and in the laboratory  I conducted studies of gene signatures in early stage cancer as prognostic markers, novel prognostic markers in small cell lung cancer and preclinical models of metastasis to identify targets for therapeutic control.  I returned to the UK in 2003 to complete higher specialist training in oncology and was appointed a Consultant at The Christie NHS Trust in 2005.  I subsequently established translational research in lung cancer in collaboration with Professors Caroline Dive and Malcolm Ranson with a specific focus on circulating biomarkers for prediction of benefit from treatment and circulating tumour cells.  In the clinic I joined Professor Nick Thatcher and expanded the clinical trials (Phase IB-III) portfolio for development of new drugs and regimens in addition to establishing collaboration with Dr Corinne Faivre-Finn in radiation related research.  I became an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Manchester University in 2007 and was appointed a Clinical Senior Lecturer in 2012.  In 2011 I was awarded the CRUK translational research prize in conjunction with colleagues C Dive, M Ranson and A Hughes, and in 2012 was awarded Christie Hospital Senior Researcher of the year. In 2016, I was appointed as Professor of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Manchester and in 2021 as the Director of Research & Innovation at the Christie NHS Trust.

My overall objective is to contribute clinically relevant lung cancer research to improve outcomes for lung cancer patients and ultimately to make lung cancer a less common and less deadly disease.    

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

British Thoracic Oncology Group

European Thoracic Oncology Platform

European Society of Medical Oncology (Faculty Member)

American Society of Clinical Oncology (Faculty Member)

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (Faculty Member)


BSc Hons St Andrews University 1989

MBChB(Hons) Manchester University 1992

MRCP UK 1995

PhD Manchester University 2001

CCST Medical Oncology 2005

FRCP 2009

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Director of Research & Innovation, The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Jun 2021 → …

Consultant in Medical Oncology, The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

2005 → …

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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