Robert Hawkins

Job title

Cancer Research UK Professor/Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology

Phone number

0161 446 3208 (university phone number: 0161 918 7042)

Fax number

0161 446 3299 (university fax: 0161 446 8342)




Medical oncology, medical therapy of renal cell cancer (kidney cancer) and adrenal cancer; specialist immunotherapy/adoptive cell therapy and trials in melanoma and lymphoma.


Honorary Consultant Medical Oncology; Prof Hawkins leads research and management of renal cancer; national lead for delivery of high dose interleukin-2 which is a specialist treatment for renal cancer and is only applicable to carefully selected patients; chief investigator/principal investigator of several current phase II/III trials of new treatments for renal cancer; principal investigator of key Phase I/II trials of cellular therapy, immunotherapy and cancer vaccines

Co-ordinator of the EU grant (ATTACK) which organises Europe-wide trials of adoptive cell therapy; scientific committee of research organisations including European Society for Medical Oncology/ESMO Immunotherapy, Immunotherapy of Cancer (ITOC), World Immunotherapy Council (WIC), Society for Cellular Therapy of Cancer (President).  Specialist advisor for the Royal College of Pysicians/National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on renal cancer drugs and cellular therapy development; grant reviewer for numerous grant-giving bodies; reviewer for numerous medical and scientific journals; lectures in the UK and internationally on cancer immunotherapy and kidney cancer management; ad hoc advisor to various pharmaceutical companies; founder of Cellular Therapeutics Ltd, a company that produces cells for clinical treatment.

Professional biography

Robert Hawkins is a Cancer Research UK Professor at the University of Manchester and Christie Hospital. His research interests are in renal cancer and gene and immunotherapy. In addition to clinical training at the Royal Marsden Hospital and Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge he was a Medical Research Council Research Fellow with Dr Greg Winter and Dr Cesar Milstein at the MRC laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. His PhD was in antibody engineering, and as a Cancer Research UK Senior Clinical Fellow he developed translational research interests in antibody-based gene therapy.

Prof Hawkins was first appointed as a consultant in Medical Oncology at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge in 1995 and then became Professor of Oncology at the University of Bristol in 1996. In 1998 he moved to The Christie to become Professor and Director of Medical Oncology. He was also Clinical Director of Medical Oncology from 1998 to 2009 and developed a specialist medical oncology service covering a full range of treatment: during his leadership the department expanded from five to 22 consultants with development of a full range of specialist service and research interests. Clinically, Professor Hawkins focuses on treating renal (kidney) cancer and cancer of the adrenal gland. He heads a clinical research group undertaking trials in these cancers and also a range of early-phase clinical trials of biological agents including vaccines, antibodies and cellular therapy.

He also leads a group undertaking translational research into immunotherapy of cancer with a focus on adoptive cell therapy. He has also developed a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) cell therapy unit to provide clinical-grade cell manufacturing - this operated as a university facility before becoming a commercial spinout company (Cellular Therapeutics Ltd). He is and has been the coordinator of several major European Union consortia in this field: the pre-clinical cell therapy ATTACK project (, a cell therapy training network (ATTRACT) and an FP7 cell therapy clinical trials consortium (ATTACK targeting oesophagogastric cancer and melanoma: He also leads cell therapy trials targeting other diseases: a Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund-funded trial targeting CD19 and a major EME/National Institute for Health Research-funded randomised phase II trial of adoptive cell therapy in melanoma. He has published widely in scientific and clinical journals and is an inventor/co-inventor on several antibody-related patents.


The Christie Private Care

Prof. Hawkins also practises privately at The Christie Private Care