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Nick CrossThe 2018 iCMLf Rowley Prize is awarded to Professor Nick Cross

‘Nick Cross has been the driving force behind the harmonization of molecular response criteria in CML, especially deep molecular response, a critical step towards making TFR possible and practical. He has also led the discovery and description of BCR-ABL-negative CML-like syndromes.’ (Timothy Hughes, Chairman of the iCMLf)

The 2018 Rowley Prize winner is Nick Cross, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Southampton (UK). Professor Cross receives the prize in recognition of his scientific achievements to better understand the molecular pathogenesis of chronic myeloid leukemia and the development, validation and standardisation of genetic tests.

The Rowley Prize is awarded each year by the iCMLf to celebrate people who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to the understanding of the biology of CML.

Professor Cross’s work initially focused on the analysis of chromosome abnormalities that proved to be an important route towards understanding the molecular pathogenesis of what used to be called BCR-ABL negative CML. His team has characterized more than 25 different translocations and found that the majority result in fusion genes encoding chimeric proteins with an N-terminal region derived from a partner gene fused in frame to the C-terminal region of tyrosine kinase such as ABL, PDGFRα, PDGFRß, JAK2, KIT or FGFR1. Using preclinical models he evaluated the efficacy of novel small molecule inhibitors against activated tyrosine kinases in CML. Other projects include the use of genome wide profiling techniques to identify novel, somatically acquired genetic abnormalities, including mutations in CBL and EZH2.

Dr Cross has a long-standing career in the development of genetic tests and is particularly committed to the development and standardisation of molecular monitoring for CML patients worldwide by qRT-PCR for BCR-ABL mRNA. Together with his team, Nick established the first quantitative tests to monitor CML patients after bone marrow transplant in the early 1990s. More recently he developed primary, World Health Organisation approved reference reagents for standardisation of BCR-ABL testing and has led the development of guidelines for molecular monitoring.

Nick Cross is Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Southampton and also serves as Director of the Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory in Salisbury (UK). He started his postdoctoral career at the Hammersmith Hospital, London, where he developed an interest in CML under the mentorship of Professor John Goldman. Nick Cross (MA, PhD, FRCPath) first studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and then completed his PhD in genetics. He has published more than 350 publications in peer-reviewed journals during his scientific career so far.

Learn more about Nick Cross here.