Professor Clifford is Chair of Molecular Paediatric Oncology and directs the Newcastle University Centre for Cancer. He co-leads our Childhood Brain Tumour Research team (25 scientists/clinicians), with major interests in understanding the biological basis of embryonal brain tumour development (principally medulloblastoma), and translating these findings into improved clinical treatments.
His international bench-to-bedside programme in medulloblastoma has been central to advances in childhood neuro-oncology research and international clinical trials over the last two decades. His team has made fundamental discoveries through advanced genomic, biomarker, trials and functional studies, and translated these into improved molecular diagnostics, risk-stratification, and therapeutics.
These discoveries now form the basis of medulloblastoma diagnostic sub-classification internationally (WHO classifications, 2016 & 2021), and he helped pioneer first clinical trials of biomarker-driven risk-adapted personalised therapies (e.g. SIOP-PNET5-MB/HR-MB) and state-of-the-art diagnostics across Europe. The UK leads worldwide in delivering these for all patients, through the National Reference Centre in Newcastle.