OECD Forum Series 2022: Closing the Cancer Gap: Towards Better Screening and Treatment


Mark Lawler

Queen's University Belfast (QUB)

Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor of Digital Health, and Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics


Mark is an internationally renowned scientist whose work has been recognised by numerous national/international awards. He is Scientific Director of DATA-CAN, the UK’s National Health Data Research Hub for Cancer. He is Chair of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership, an international collaborative employing data-driven approaches to improve outcomes for cancer patients. He is Chair of the recently published Lancet Oncology European Groundshot Commission on Cancer Research, the most comprehensive evaluation of cancer research in Europe, with its aspiration to reimagine cancer research and its implementation in Europe through a Call for Action and a series of 12 Recommendations, with the overall 70:35 Vision – 70% long term survival for all cancer patients in Europe by 2035. Mark has a strong commitment to patient-centred research and care and to addressing cancer inequalities. He was architect of the European Cancer Patient's Bill of Rights, launched in the European Parliament on World Cancer Day 2014. The Bill of Rights received The 2018 European Health Award, a prestigious award for partnerships that yield real health impact in Europe. Mark’s work on addressing inequalities formed the centrepiece in the development by the European Cancer Organisation (E.C.O) of the European Code of Cancer Practice, Mark is a member of the Board of E.C.O and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. Mark’s work on Covid-19 and its impact on cancer services and cancer patients has received international acclaim. He co-chairs E.C.O’s Special Focussed Network on Covid-19 and cancer, which launched its 7-Point plan to Build Back Smarter from Covid. He co-leads E.C.O’s pan European Time To Act Campaign to ensure that Covid-19 does not stop us from tackling cancer. This work received the Royal College of Physicians Excellence in Patient Care Award and the Time to Act Campaign received the prestigious European Communique Award, for its innovative way of communicating and using data at the European level In 2021, Mark received the Irish Association for Cancer Research’s Outstanding Contribution to cancer research award, for his pioneering work on cancer research and cancer care on the island of Ireland.