Lawrence Banks received his Degree in Science in 1981 and his PhD in Microbiology from Leeds University, UK in 1984. His term as Director-General of the ICGEB commenced on 1 July, 2019. Scientific Coordinator of the ICGEB from 2016 – June 2019 he has been Group Leader of the Tumour Virology Laboratory at ICGEB Trieste, Italy since 1990. From 1988-1990 he was an independent Research Scientist at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London, UK and from 1984-1988, Post-doctoral Fellow at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK.

He is Editor of the Journal of Virology, FEBS Journal, Papillomavirus Research, PLoS One, Frontiers Cellular Infection and Microbiology and is on the Editorial Boards of Antiviral Therapy, Virus Research and Biological Chemistry. Since 2017 he has been running Awareness Workshops in Academic Institutions across the ICGEB constituency and has organised over 15 major international workshops on Human Papillomavirus, Molecular Biology of Leishmania and DNA Tumor Viruses.

He has served on Grant Review and PhD Examination Committees of numerous scientific organisations in Italy and abroad, including the Human Frontiers Science Program, DKFZ, and WHO IARC, and is Research Degree Coordinator in Italy for the Open University UK. His current research interest focuses on Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs), the causative agents of a number of human tumours, including cervical cancer, which is a major cause of cancer-related death in women in many parts of the developing world.

His research activity is funded internationally through grants from public and private bodies, including the “Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro” AIRC and the Wellcome Trust. He has published over 220 papers in peer-reviewed, international journals. 

During his mandate he will focus on continuing to drive the Organisation’s transparent managerial structure, expanding interaction in the biotech sector in ICGEB Member States, advancing scientific research of the laboratories in Trieste, New Delhi and Cape Town and contributing to advanced education of young scientists to promote science and technology-intensive solutions to improve the quality of life.

Research Activity

Molecular biology of Human Papillomaviruses: virus entry pathways and induction of malignancy

Biographical information

Learn more about the Director-General’s career, activities and publications.

Writing from Kenya

My lab, Tumour Virology, focuses on Human Papillomaviruses and the mechanisms by which these viruses cause cancer development.

Durban, SA, BIOAfrica2019 with CEO Siyabulela Ntutela

South Africa: Aug 2019

At the BIOAfrica Convention in Durban (26-28 August 2019), ICGEB is running workshops on Biosafety and Biosimilars. The ICGEB Director-General and Directors of the New Delhi and Cape Town laboratories are there, with the Ministers of Science and Technology of South Africa and the Minister of Health of Ethiopia, to highlight the opportunities that ICGEB provides for African Science.

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Kenya, Aug 2019

In the first month of his mandate, Lawrence Banks was at National Science Week in Nairobi, and holding an ICGEB Awareness Workshop.

India, July 2019

Elected by the Board of Governors in May 2019, Lawrence Banks took up his five-year term on 1 July 2019, at the ICGEB New Delhi Component, India.