Karen received her PhD from the University of London, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and the NCI in the USA. She established her own group at the Ludwig Institute in London, moving to the NCI and then back UK to become the Director of the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow. Recently, she returned to London to become Chief Scientist at CRUK and Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. Karen's research focuses on metabolic changes that contribute to cancer development, with a focus on the tumour suppressor protein p53. She has made contributions to our understanding of how p53 is regulated and the functions of p53 that contribute to its ability to control cancer progression. This work has revealed an unexpected ability of p53 to help cells adapt and survive under transient periods of nutrient starvation. Ultimately, the hope is to find ways to translate this research for cancer therapy. Karen is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Commander of the British Empire for services to clinical science.