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NEWS: Summer changes and Introducing new RSG chairs

15 September 2016

As the summer begins to receed we now are heading into a new academic year, and by coincidence we enter the new session with a new chair and co-chair of the Biosciences Research Staff Group. Maddy Young has stepped down but is staying on as secretary, kindly Kenneth Ewan and Liliana Ordonez have offered to become the new chair and co-chair (deputy-chair), respectively. In terms of continuity through the group moving forwards this is excellent news. The year ahead sees a continuation of many elements and excitingly a refreshed approach to teaching engagement with RSG level staff (see your email inboxes).

The other major change moving onwards is the departure of Ros John as Academic Chair, the post was felt by all could be served by selecting second co-chair from the within the membership. Ros has been a strong advocate for the group, always giving of her time and wise advice, and we thank her hugely for all of her efforts.


So who are the new group chairs…

Ken Ewan (Chair)

Dr Kenneth Ewan

I was born in the UK but educated in Australia to PhD level. My PhD and early postdoc work focused on developmental biology ending with a productive project at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California investigating TGF-beta1’s role in mammary gland biology. I joined Trevor Dale’s lab in 2004 and have been here ever since. My research interests have been translational in nature and include: 1) drug discovery for Wnt pathway inhibitors, 2) using tumour and hyperplasia tissue organoids for cancer drug assays and, recently, 3) developing new microscopic techniques for tissue organoid assays. I have been on the Research Staff Committee and its previous incarnations for a number of years and have helped with previous events including the recent Seed Corn Funding calls.

You can read Ken’s fuller career overview from earlier this year (May 2016) – titled “my experience with translational science and drug discovery“.

Liliana Ordonez  (Co-chair / Deputy-chair)


I grew up in Gloucestershire and came to Cardiff University in 2007 for my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and have been here ever since. Thereafter I did my PhD in Prof Alan Clarke’s laboratory, in which I was investigating mechanisms of resistance to a personalised therapy for breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations. During my PhD I met Dr Matt Smalley who sparked my interest in breast cancer heterogeneity and so in 2014, I decided to move across the corridor to join his lab as a Postdoc. I am currently involved in a number of projects utilising in vivo models of breast cancer. I have been on the Research Staff Committee as a representative for the Pathophysiology and Repair (PPR) division for just over a year, and am looking forward to continuing my involvement as deputy-chair.

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