Dr Marwan Kwok MB ChB, MRCP (UK), PhD, FRCPath

Dr Marwan Kwok

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist
Clinical Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Institute for Biomedical Research West
Medical School
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT

Dr Marwan Kwok is a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist and clinical senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham. He is also an honorary consultant haematologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, and postdoctoral research scholar at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He completed general training in internal medicine, followed by specialist training in haematology, and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. He held a Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research clinical research fellowship from 2014 to 2017 during which he undertook doctoral research training under the mentorship of Professor Tatjana Stankovic and Professor Peter Hillmen. He subsequently held a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) clinical lectureship at the University of Birmingham from 2018 to 2022. 

His current research focuses on the natural history and clinical heterogeneity of lymphoid malignancies, as well as novel therapeutic targets and minimal residual disease in these conditions. He has authored and co-authored manuscripts in New England Journal of Medicine, Blood and Leukemia. He was an EHA-ASH Translational Research Training in Hematology (TRTH) 2015 participant, and a past recipient of the UK CLL Forum Hamblin Prize (2016, 2020) and the Royal College of Pathologists specialty research medal (2016, 2020). He was recently awarded a 5-year Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship (£1.1 M) and currently base his research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute within Professor Catherine J. Wu’s laboratory.    


  • CCT, Certificate of Completion of Training (Haematology), General Medical Council, 2021
  • FRCPath, Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists, 2020
  • PhD, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Birmingham, 2018
  • MRCP (UK), Membership of the Royal College of Physicians, 2013
  • MB ChB, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Leeds, 2009
  • BSc, Bachelor of Science (with first class honours), University College London, 2006


MB ChB  Year 3 – Clinical Core lecture programme 

BSc Biomedical Sciences Year 3 – Cancer Pathogenesis and Treatment module 

MSc Clinical Oncology – Haemato-oncology module (module co-lead) 

Ad hoc clinical teaching of medical students and junior doctors


Dr Kwok has led previous studies to establish the mechanistic basis of ATR pathway inhibition as a therapeutic approach for lymphoid malignancies (Blood; 2016; 127: 582-595) as well as the long-term prognostic impact of minimal residual disease in CLL (Blood; 2016; 128: 2770-2773). He also contributed to major studies on the natural history of monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL) and on other novel therapeutic targets for high-risk CLL. More recently, he initiated and led a study which provided the first substantive integrative analysis of spontaneous CLL regression, yielding biological insight into this rare but important phenomenon (Blood; 2020; 135: 411-428). 

His current research, funded through Cancer Research UK (£1.1 M; 2022-2027), seeks to extend his recent work on spontaneous CLL regression to address the important question of how tumour biology and immunogenicity, as well as its interaction with the immune microenvironment, underpin differences in the clinical trajectory of cancer patients, such as between patients with spontaneously regressing and progressing disease, and between those with durable and short-lived responses to treatment.   

He is currently based at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute within Professor Catherine J Wu’s laboratory, where he collaborates extensively with the Broad Institute (Getz and Carr labs) as well as other UK, US and international centres, including the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG).

His current studies include: 

1.         Single-cell characterisation of the evolutionary history and biological mechanisms underpinning spontaneous CLL regression;

2.         Analysis of the impact of clonal dynamics and subclonal genetic drivers on the kinetics of response and resistance to conventional and targeted therapy (collaboration with Dr Eugen Tausch, University of Ulm; and the Broad Institute);

3.         Implementation and evaluation of personalised multivalent neoantigen vaccine for immunoprevention and early therapeutic intervention (collaboration with Dr Inhye Ahn, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute).


Kwok M, Oldreive C, Rawstron AC, Goel A, Papatzikas G, Jones RE, Drennan S, Agathanggelou A, Sharma-Oates A, Evans P, Smith E, Dalal S, Mao J, Hollows R, Gordon N, Hamada M, Davies N, Parry H, Beggs AD, Munir T, Moreton P, Paneesha S, Pratt G, Taylor AMR, Forconi F, Baird DM, Cazier JB, Moss P, Hillmen P, Stankovic T. Integrative analysis of spontaneous CLL regression highlights genetic and microenvironmental interdependency in CLL. Blood. 2020; 135:411-428 

Kwok M, Rawstron AC, Varghese A, Evans PAS, O’Connor SJM, Doughty C, Newton DK, Moreton P, Hillmen P. Minimal residual disease is an independent predictor for 10-year survival in CLL. Blood. 2016; 128:2770-2773

Kwok M, Davies N, Agathanggelou A, Smith E, Oldreive C, Petermann E, Stewart G, Brown J, Lau A, Pratt G, Parry H, Taylor M, Moss P, Hillmen P, Stankovic T. ATR inhibition induces synthetic lethality and overcomes chemoresistance in TP53 or ATM defective chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells. Blood. 2016; 127:582-595

Kwok M, Stankovic T. The three musketeers: uniting against CLL. Blood. 2022;139:1264-1265

Stankovic T, Kwok M. Linking epigenome regulation with DNA repair. Blood. 2022; 139: 3356-3357

Kwok M, Wu CJ. Clonal evolution of high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a contemporary perspective. Frontiers in Oncology. 2021; 11:790004

Stankovic T, Kwok M. Ibrutinib: another string to its bow. Blood. 2021; 137:3461-3462

Kwok M, Agathanggelou A, Davies N, Stankovic T. Targeting the p53 Pathway in CLL: State of the Art and Future Perspectives. Cancers. 2021; 13:4681

Kwok M, Fritsch EF, Wu CJ. Cancer and COVID-19: on the quest for effective vaccines. Blood Cancer Discovery. 2021; 2:13-18

Stankovic T, Kwok M. Genetics in the era of targeted CLL therapy. Blood. 2020; 135:2333-2334 

Parry HM, Mirajkar N, Cutmore N, Zuo J, Long H, Kwok M, Oldrieve C, Hudson C, Stankovic T, Paneesha S, Kelly M, Begum J, McSkeane T, Pratt G, Moss P. Long-term ibrutinib therapy reverses CD8+ T cell exhaustion in B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Front. Immunol. 2019; 10:2832

Oldreive CE, Byrd PJ, Stewart GS, Taylor AJ, Farhat S, Skowronska A, Smith E, Raghavan M, Janic D, Dokmanovic L, Clokie S, Davies N, Kwok M, Pratt G, Paneesha S, Moss P, Stankovic T, Taylor M. PALB2 variant status in hematological malignancies - a potential therapeutic target? Leuk Lymphoma. 2019; 7:1-4

Agathanggelou A, Smith E, Davies NJ, Kwok M, Zlatanou A, Oldreive CE, Mao J, Da Costa D, Yadollahi S, Perry T, Kearns P, Skowronska A, Yates E, Parry H, Hillmen P, Reverdy C, Delansorne R, Paneesha S, Pratt G, Moss P, Taylor AMR, Stewart GS, Stankovic T. USP7 inhibition alters homologous recombination repair and targets CLL cells independent of ATM/p53 functional status. Blood. 2017; 130:156-166

Davies NJ, Kwok M, Gould C, Oldreive CE, Mao J, Parry H, Smith E, Agathanggelou A, Pratt G, Taylor AMR, Moss P, Griffiths M, Stankovic T. Dynamic changes in clonal cytogenetic architecture during progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in patients and patient-derived murine xenografts. Oncotarget. 2017; 8:44749-44760

Rawstron AC, Bennett F, O’Connor SJM, Kwok M, Fenton JAL, Plummer M, Tute R, Richards SJ, Jack AS, Hillmen P. Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. New Engl J Med. 2008; 359:575-583

Chuah C, Barnes DJ, Kwok M, Corbin A, Deininger MWN, Druker BJ, Melo JV. Zoledronate inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukemic cells. Leukemia. 2005; 19:1896-1904

Kwok M, Stankovic T. Targeting the Ataxia Telangiectasia and Rad3 Signaling Pathway to Overcome Chemoresistance in Cancer. In Johnson DE (ed), Targeting Cell Survival Pathways to Enhance Response to Chemotherapy. Elsevier Publishing Company. 2019; p. 204-231

Kwok M, Stankovic T. Targeting replication stress in sporadic tumors. In Grand RJ (ed), DNA Replication and Double Strand Break Repair: Mechanisms and Clinical Significance. 2018; Garland Science; p. 329-337

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