Stephen Jackson (scientist)

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Stephen Jackson
File:Stephen (Steve) Jackson - 26837860422.jpg
Born Stephen Philip Jackson
(1962-07-17) 17 July 1962 (age 57)
Nottingham, England
Nationality British
Fields Cancer
DNA repair
Cell biology
Molecular biology
Institutions Gurdon Institute
University of Cambridge
University of California, Berkeley
University of Edinburgh
Alma mater University of Leeds (BSc)
Imperial College London (PhD)
University of Edinburgh (PhD)
Thesis Cloning and characterisation of the RNA8 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (1987)
Doctoral advisor Jean Beggs
Known for Understanding cellular responses to DNA damage and their relevance to cancer
Notable awards EMBO member (1997)
Fellow of the Royal Society (2008)
FMedSci (2001)
Buchanan Medal (2011)
King Faisal International Prize (2016)
Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine (2016)

Stephen Philip Jackson, FRS, FMedSci, (born 17 July 1962) is the Frederick James Quick Professor of Biology and a Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. He is a Senior Group Leader and Head of Cancer Research UK Laboratories at the Gurdon Institute, and an Associate Faculty member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.[1] He is also part-time Chief Scientific Officer for MISSION Therapeutics Ltd.[2]


Professor Jackson was educated at the University of Leeds, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 1983.[3] He then carried out his PhD research working with Jean Beggs on yeast RNA splicing at Imperial College London and Edinburgh University, earning his PhD in 1987.[4]


Following his PhD, Jackson carried out postdoctoral research with Robert Tjian at the University of California, Berkeley, where he developed an interest in the regulation of transcription. He returned to the UK in 1991 as a Junior Group Leader at the then Wellcome-CRC Institute, now the Gurdon Institute.

In 1997 Jackson founded KuDOS Pharmaceuticals with the aim of translating knowledge of DNA damage response pathways into new treatments for cancer. KuDOS developed into a fully integrated drug-discovery and drug-development company and was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2005.[5]

In 2011 Jackson founded MISSION Therapeutics[2][6] a firm to develop drugs to improve the management of life-threatening diseases, particularly cancer.

Honours and Awards

Jackson has received various prizes, including the Biochemical Society GlaxoSmithKline Award (2008),[7] the BBSRC Innovator of the Year Award (2009),[8] the Royal Society Buchanan Medal (2011),[9] the latter in recognition of his "outstanding contributions to understanding DNA repair and DNA damage response signalling pathways", and the Gagna A. & Ch. Van Heck Prize [10] (2015) for "his cardinal contributions related to cellular events that detect, signal the presence of and repair DNA damages". Jackson is the co-winner of the King Faisal International Prize for Science 2016, in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to defining the link between the basic mechanism of genomic DNA instability and its relationship to cancer. Specifically, he unraveled the salient components of the pathway involved in DNA repair. He is also credited with an innovative approach to bring his findings into tangible therapeutic products to treat cancer".[11] He was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 1997, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2001[12] and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008.[13] In 2016 Jackson won the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine[14] for his "fundamental research into DNA repair in human cells and for the successful application of knowledge of that process in the development of new cancer drugs".[15]


  1. Professor Steve Jackson - Associate Faculty, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Scientific Founders". MISSION Therapeutics.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. ‘JACKSON, Prof. Stephen Philip’ Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2013
  4. Jackson, Stephen Phillip (1987). "Cloning and characterisation of the RNA8 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae" (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Acquisition Of KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Will Enhance AstraZeneca's Ability To Generate Novel Cancer Treatments" (press release). AstraZeneca. 23 December 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Steve Jackson". Steve Jackson Laboratory.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. GlaxoSmithKline Award Lecture
  8. Innovator of the Year
  9. "Royal Society Buchanan Medal".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "University of Cambridge Awards Press Release".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Gurdon Institute News 20.01.16".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "The Academy of Medical Sciences | Directory of Fellows".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Jackson; Stephen Philip". The Royal Society. Retrieved 24 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Heineken Prizes - Stephen Jackson". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 10 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Gurdon Institute News 10.05.16".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>