UCLH and UCL researchers and clinicians among most influential people in London

Researchers and clinicians at UCLH and UCL have been highlighted in the Evening Standard’s list of the most influential people in London.

The Progress 1000 is compiled every year. The theme of this year’s list is the future and technology.

Among the six listed is Professor Bryan Williams, director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at UCLH, director of research at UCLH and Chair of Medicine at UCL. He is a clinician at UCLH and is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities on high blood pressure.

He said: “It is good to see recognition of the influence that staff at UCLH have in driving forward medical research and innovation in London and beyond.”

Dr Prasanna Sooriakumaran, a consultant prostate cancer surgeon at UCLH, was included for his pioneering robotic surgery. He is investigating new techniques to spare men with prostate cancer the potentially debilitating effects of surgery. Early trials show that his new technique has drastically reduced recovery time for up to 94 per cent of patients.

Professor Charles Swanton, UCL’s professor of personalised cancer medicine with a lab at UCL Cancer Institute and the Francis Crick Institute in Kings Cross, a consultant at UCLH and chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, is leading pioneering research on lung cancer. Professor Swanton studies how cancers evolve in the body to spread and become resistant to therapy. He is also researching ways to treat tumours more effectively.

Professor Tariq Enver, director at UCL Cancer Institute and professor of stem cell biology at UCL, leads a “grand coalition” in the war on cancer by encouraging closer working relations between UCL, King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and the Francis Crick Institute, creating a centre of excellence for biotherapeutics.

Professor Ravi Gupta, until recently an infectious diseases clinician at UCLH’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases, studies the evolution and spread of HIV drug resistance globally. He, along with colleagues at Imperial College London, recently published a report on how a patient with HIV and lymphoma is now free from both conditions after an allogeneic stem cell transplant using cells from a donor lacking a critical receptor protein for HIV infection, CCR5. This work has rejuvenated the field of HIV gene therapy.

Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England and a UCLH physician, was included on the list for his work which focuses on the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases in children and adults.