Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre

Tumour Biology Group

Principal Investigator Professor Bruce Baguley


Professor Bruce Baguley was born in Hamilton, New Zealand and studied at the University of Auckland. He trained initially in chemistry, switching to the field of Molecular Biology for his doctoral degree. He subsequently carried out post-doctoral studies in Basel, Switzerland on the biochemistry of normal and cancer tissue years before returning to New Zealand in 1968 to join what is now the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre at the University of Auckland. He became Director of the Centre in 1981 and has since served as Director and Co-director. Professor Baguley lives in Auckland and is married with three children and four grandchildren.

Professor Baguley’s major research interest has been the development of anticancer drugs, with a particular focus on the operation of a multidisciplinary facility where new treatment strategies can be formulated and new drugs synthesised, and where comprehensive laboratory studies can be complemented by clinical trials in cancer patients. He is an author/co-author of over 440 research articles and book chapters, and in 2002 edited the book, with Professor DJ Kerr, "Anticancer Drug Development", which was the first large publication to provide a comprehensive overview of this field.

Professor Baguley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (FRSNZ) in 1991. In 2002 he was elected an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to cancer research. In 2006 he was awarded the Sir Charles Hercus Medal for scientific or technological work of great merit in biomedical sciences and technologies. In this year he was also awarded the Sir Peter Gluckman Medal for distinguished contributions to the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. In 2011 he was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland.

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"My dream is to contribute to a quantum change in cancer treatment", explains Professor Bruce Baguley.

Research Interests

Our main aim is to develop improved treatments for cancer patients. This aim is pursued firstly by the development of new anticancer drugs to the point of clinical trial, and secondly by basic research aimed at tailoring existing treatment to the individual cancer patient. In drug development, the Tumour Biology Group interfaces with the Medicinal Chemistry Group and concentrates particularly on cellular and pharmacological aspects of drug development. In basic research, we collaborate with surgeons and oncologists to examine tumour material taken from individual cancer patients.

  • Development of new anticancer drugs
  • Growing human tumour cells in culture
  • Resistance of human breast cancer cells in culture
  • Long non-coding RNA
  • Linkage to clinical studies

Group members

Dr Euphemia Leung
Senior Research Fellow

Dr Sandy Chen
Senior Technologist

Dr Avik Shome
Research Technician