Professor Caroline Dive is internationally renowned for advancing circulating biomarker research, with a strong focus on circulating tumour cells (CTCs), particularly in lung cancer. She initially trained as a pharmacist at the University of London. She then studied for her PhD in Cambridge before taking a new Blood lectureship at Aston University in Birmingham. Caroline then obtained a Lister Institute fellowship, and moved to the University of Manchester where she set a group to study drug induced apoptosis. She became a full Professor in 2002 and moved to the CRUK Manchester Institute in 2003.
Currently, Caroline leads the Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology group (~70 staff) at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, coordinating activities of scientists, bioinformaticians and clinicians. She has validated and implemented pharmacodynamic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers in clinical trials, working in tandem with clinical researchers and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust Cancer Treatment Centre. Her team has integrated reproducible protocols for the molecular profiling of CTCs into clinical trials, enhanced sample analysis for multi-site trials, and developed methods for circulating free DNA and CTC analysis from the same blood sample.
She developed unique xenotransplantation models using CTCs enriched from small cell lung cancer patients’ blood samples, providing a fully tractable system for therapy testing and understanding drug resistance mechanisms, a landmark development in the field. Within the CRUK-funded TRACERx consortium, a pioneering study of intratumoural heterogeneity and evolution of non-small cell lung cancer, she directs the CTC analysis within the consortium and is developing the first NSCLC CTC Biobank worldwide. She is the Manchester lead of the CRUK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, a partnership with University College London, and the scientific-lead of the Manchester Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre.
Caroline has received recognition in terms of international prizes, most notably the CRUK Translational Research Prize in 2011, the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier International Prize in 2012 for minimally invasive biomarkers to aid management of cancer patients and the BPS AstraZeneca Prize for Women in Pharmacology in 2016. She was made a Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences in 2011, Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society in 2012 and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015.