Breast cancer is an age-related disease and the most common female cancer worldwide; further research is vital to identify novel pathways driving different forms of cancer to reveal potential new therapeutic strategies.
Our research portfolio focuses on a number of integrated projects identifying cancer-related gene regulation changes that impact on the ability of breast cancer cells to grow, survive and invade tissues. My team are currently defining the regulation and function of different signalling pathways and receptors that are already targets for therapies including HER2. We are studying regulation and functional implications of cancer-associated alternative splicing events in breast cancer biology. Our work aims to help define how alternative splicing events change in different cancer subtypes and what impact these changes may potentially have on disease progression and drug resistance.Another research area has been to define the role of toll-like receptors in tissue injury; we are interested in studying cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with activation of TLR signalling pathways; this research theme includes several active projects in reproductive medicine and TLR responses to various stimuli including metallic ions.
14 Postgraduate students have graduated from my supervision since 2006 (5 PhD students and 9 MRes students). I am happy to consider applications from self-funded students.
Anna-Lena Dittrich, PhD (1st supervisor)
Marco Silipo, PhD, (1st supervisor)
Helen Lawrence MRes/PhD (1st supervisor)
Soulaf Kakel, PhD (1st supervisor)
Andrew Best PhD (co-supervisor)
Marina Danilenko (co-supervisor)
Reviewer for grants:
MRC, Wellcome Trust, Action Medical Research, BBSRC, Wellbeing for Women, Breast Cancer Campaign.
Reviewer for manuscripts:
Molecular Human Reproduction, Reproductive Sciences, Molecular Endocrinology, PlosONE, FEBS letters, Cancer Letters.
Editorial Board: Advances in Molecular Biology (Hindawi Publishing).
mini-gene construction; transient and stable transfections; reporter assays; gene silencing techniques (RNAi and morpholinos); nuclear splicing assays; DNA and RNA mobility shift assays; protein: RNA-binding assays/iCLIP; immunoprecipitation; PCR (conventional and Real-time, Q-PCR arrays); TLR signalling assays.
Action Medical Research; Wellcome Trust; RVI Breast Cancer Appeal; Dr William Harker Foundation; The JGW Patterson Foundation; William Luccock and Ernest Jeffcock Foundation; Charles & Elsie Sykes Charitable Trust; Breast Cancer Campaign; Wellbeing for Women (WOW); Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust; NIHR BRC; Gateshead Health National Health Service Foundation Trust.