EGA Institute for Women's Health


Dr John Timms

13 January 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr John Timms on 7th January 2021.

John Timms

John Timms who was Associate Professor of Cancer Proteomics at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health (IfWH) was an outstanding scientist in the pioneering development and application of proteomic technologies in cancer research.  John gained his DPhil from Oxford University in 1995 going on to a Leukemia Society of America Fellowship in Prof Benjamin Neel’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School.  He returned to the UK in 1999 as a postdoctoral research fellow with Prof Mike Waterfield at the UCL Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and in 2002 he became an Assistant Member of the Ludwig, leading a successful cancer proteomics research group.

His research focused on cell signalling and its role in cancer and the discovery and validation of cancer biomarkers to maximise the chances of prevention, or early detection and good long-term outcomes for people diagnosed with cancer. He had the vision to integrate proteomics with other molecular techniques to characterise gene function, signalling networks and for biomarker discovery and this body of work is his outstanding contribution to cancer research that translates to benefit patients directly.

John’s contribution went far beyond his research activity as Head of the Cancer Proteomic Research Group which he formed in 2006 at the UCL IfWH. John trained a generation of proteomic scientists and has helped to transform the field in a way that will have an enduring impact. He was respected and loved by his students for his never failing kindness and dedication to their development. He was key to the IfWH’s Gold Athena Swan award and recently relished his position as Head of the Research Department of Women’s Cancer proving himself a natural and generous leader and mentor.  John valued the human aspects of working life, whether that was over a pint at the pub or as a brilliant quizmaster at Institute parties.

John will be sorely missed not only as an inspirational scientist, great collaborator, and supportive colleague but also for his superb dry wit, warmth and positive spirit. 

Please click here to read a personal tribute from Prof Martin Widschwendter, personal friend and John's previous Head of Department.