Dr Alison Tyson-Capper
Faculty PgR Tutor (Associate Dean), Senior Lecturer

Alison Tyson-Capper (nee Pollard)

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Faculty PgR Tutor (Associate Dean)
  • Group Leader and Prinical Investigator
  • ICM Postgraduate Coordinator (2012-2014) 

*PhD OPPORTUNITIES – Our Institute is always open to informal enquiries and will consider applications from prospective PhD students. If you have any queries about the research programmes (or potential PhD supervisors) within the Institute of Cellular Medicine (ICM), please feel free to contact me for further information. Email address: alison.tyson-capper@ncl.ac.uk


Committee Member

  • ICM Executive Committee
  • ICM Postgraduate Committee (Chair)
  • ICM Management Committee
  • FMS, Graduate School Committee
  • ICM Athena Swan SAT

  • PhD, MRes and UG student supervisor
  • PhD external and internal examiner
  • PhD, MD and MPhil progress assessor
  • ICM seminar co-ordinator
  • MRes and UG student personal tutor
  • MBBS student annual appraiser (stage 1 and 2)


    1994 BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Liverpool
    1999 PhD Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Liverpool

Previous Positions

01/07/05-31/07/10 Lecturer
1/2/02-30/6/05 Senior Research Associate, University of Newcastle, (Wellcome Trust funded)
1/11/98-28/1/02 Research Associate, University of Newcastle (Action Research funded)

Current Research Themes

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.

PhD Supervision

14 Postgraduate students have graduated from my supervision since 2006 (5PhD students and 9 MRes students). I am happy to consider applications from self-funded students.

Current students:

  • Anna-Lena Dittrich, PhD (1st supervisor)
  • Helen Lawrence, MRes/PhD (1st supervisor)
  • Marco Silipo, PhD (1st supervisor)
  • Soulaf Kakel (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) 

Main techniques:

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.

 Recipient of the Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teacher Award 2014 

 Undergraduate Teaching

  • PSC2015 Reproductive and Developmental Physiology (stage 2)-Module Leader
  • PSC3012 Integrated Physiology (stage 3)
  • Personal Tutor
  • UG Project supervisor
  • Assessor (oral presentations and dissertations)


Postgraduate Teaching  

  • Faculty Postgraduate Tutor, Associate Dean
  • Facilitator of training skills sessions and workshops within the Research Student Development Programme
  • ICM Postgraduate Coordinator (2012-2014)
  • PhD and MRes supervisor  
  • PhD examiner and assessor
  • MRes assessor (oral presentations and dissertations)
  • Career Development Workshops (early and late stage)
  • 'How to Chair Scientific Sessions' Workshops
  • The Reduced Thesis Company (3-Minute-Thesis) training
STEM Ambassador
 Leading Edge-Out Reach Activity for schools in the North East