Ian Stratford

Ian Stratford, BSc, MSc, PhD, MRCR (Hon)


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Personal profile


Ian obtained a B.Sc in Chemistry from the University of Exeter and subsequently a PhD in Radiation Biology from Manchester University where he is now Professor of Pharmacy.  Ian secured continuous programme grant support from the Medical Research Council between 1981 and 2010 and in addition, secured sustantive funding from the cancer charities and industry.  He currently leads a small team of post-graduates and research associates and the focus of their research is twofold; 1/ to enhance the effects of radiotherapy by using molecularly targeted drugs and 2/ to exploit tumour energy metabolism to improve cancer therapy. In 2015 Ian was awarded the Weiss Medal at the quadrennial International Congress for Radiation Research for contributions to and achievements in radiation research.

Research interests

50% of all cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy and yet this method of treatment is only effective in curing a fraction of these patients. One of the contributory factors to tumour resistance to radiotherapy is the presence of cells in the tumour that are starved of oxygen. These so-called hypoxic cells are not only resistant to radiotherapy but also chemotherapy. Tumours with a large number of hypoxic cells are often more malignant and have a greater tendency to metastasise. Thus, the presence of hypoxic cells in tumours is a major problem for therapy.  Ian's group has for the last 30 years carried out research with the overall aim of overcoming this hypoxia problem.

The overall expertise of the group is:

  • Tumour hypoxia and manipulation of tumour oxygenation for therapeutic benefit
  • Tumour biology, tumour physiology, anti-angiogenesis and vascular targeting
  • Radiobiology (pre-clinical radiotherapy)
  • Anti-cancer drug discovery, synthesis and evaluation
  • Enzyme-directed drug activation for specific tumour therapy

Current projects include:

  • Exploring the biological function of the redox regulator NQO2
  • Evaluating the impact of modulating the expression of the monocarboxylate transporters MCT1 and MCT4 on tumour cell growth and response to therapy.
  • Determining the effect of statins on cancer development and response to chemo - and radiotherapy
  • Using molecularly targeted drugs to improve the outcome of radiotherapy

Funding for work in the Stratford lab currently comes from CR-UK, NIHR and the Pharmaceutical Industry.


PHAR40100 Option 2: Cancer Biology and Therapy

PHAR20100 The Medicine: Medicinal Chemistry lectures

PHAR20300 The Patient: Cancer lectures

PHAR10300 The Patient: Cancer lectures

My collaborations

Main Collaborators


  • 2000 - Royal College of Radiology (Honourary Membership)
  • 1975 - PhD (Manchester) Radiation Biology
  • 1971 - MSc (Warwick) Biochemistry
  • 1970 - BSc Hons (Exeter) Chemistry

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cancer
  • Dementia@Manchester


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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