Penella is Emeritus Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Sheffield.
“I enjoyed my decade at CHS as it gave me an excellent grounding in science as well as a broader education. I particularly remember helping with the lighting rigs for school plays and undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
After leaving CHS, I studied Medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Because I was interested in research, I also did an intercalated BMedSci degree. As a student, I spent a 3 month elective in Botswana, where I developed another research project. After qualifying, I worked as a junior doctor in Newcastle, Durham and Sidcup, becoming interested in Oncology (Cancer Medicine). I was fortunate to obtain a research fellowship in cancer biology in London, leading to a PhD, and to complete my oncology training at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, which I had first visited as a CHS student. I then worked as a Senior Lecturer in Nottingham before being appointed to a Chair in Sheffield.
Throughout, I have combined clinical and laboratory research. My main interest has been in the biology and treatment of lung cancers and sarcomas. Of course, there have been big changes in the approaches used over the course of my career. I have also had the opportunity to work with colleagues in the UK and internationally, for example through serving on NICE and NCRI committees.
I have been privileged to help patients through their darkest days and to contribute to improvements in cancer treatments.”