Biography - Professor Dorothy Bennett

Professor Dorothy Bennett

Name: Professor Dorothy C Bennett
Position: Professor of cell biology

Tel: +44 (0)20 8725 5202/5212

External websites

Dorothy C Bennett researcherID
Bennett-Sviderskaya Laboratory


Cell senescence, melanoma, naevi, therapy, genetics, biology, melanocyte, skin, vitiligo, cell signalling


Dorothy Bennett specialises in pigment cell (melanocyte) research, investigating genetic and other causes of melanoma (melanocyte cancer), a rapidly progressing and highly malignant cancer, and other diseases of the cells that are responsible for colour. Her work informs the development of new treatments.

She obtained her MA at King’s College, Cambridge and her PhD with Professor Renato Dulbecco at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund London labs (now Cancer Research UK London Research Institute), where she identified and characterised mammary stem cells.

She continued to study mammary stem cells during postdoctoral work with Professor Dulbecco at the Salk Institute, California. She also worked on mathematical modelling of the cell cycle and cell differentiation with James A Smith at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund London labs, before moving to St George's where she has held various academic positions.

She is president and founder of the recently established European Cell Senescence Association, an elected member of the Council (and past president, 2001 to 2003) of the European Society for Pigment Cell Research. She is also past president (2002 to 2005) of the International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies (IFPCS).

In 2002, she received the Myron Gordon Award, given by the IFPCS to 'outstanding scientists within the field of pigment cell research'. She had been chosen by the IFPCS Awards Committee to deliver the Seiji Memorial Lecture in Japan in 1999.

She is a member of the Vitiligo European Task Force, and a member of the editorial board of Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research.

Professor Bennett is a consultant to drug discovery company Senectus Therapeutics Ltd, set up by Cancer Research Technology Limited (part of Cancer Research UK).

She works with the Science Media Centre, an organisation that provides evidence-based information to the public via journalists. She has also been a participant in Science Museum public engagement events and career advice activities for school pupils.