I am a dermato-oncologist with a focus and specific expertise in cellular signalling in skin biology and cancer, committed to the delivery of high quality translational research, education and teaching. My research emphasis is melanoma and in particular the discovery and translation of novel biomarkers and targeted therapies to improve clinical outcome and the application of this research to postgraduate and undergraduate education.
Head of Excellence in Learning and Teaching for the Institute of Cellular Medicine (ICM)
Principle Investigator and Lead of the ICM Dermatological Sciences, Cellular Dermatology and Oncology research group http://www.ncl.ac.uk/icm/research/dermatology/
Member of the British Skin Foundation (BSF) Grants Advisory Board and lead panel member for the national skin cancer campaign (http://www.ittakesseven.org.uk/).
2008-2015: Member of The British Society for Investigative Dermatology Committee ( http://www.bsid.org.uk/ )
Director of The North Eastern Skin Research Fund (Registered Charity Number: 248634), http://www.nesrf.org.uk/
March 2015- present: Section Editor for The British Journal of Dermatology
Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Northern Institute for Cancer Research
University Committee Membership
1992: MPhil, University of Newcastle upon Tyne and University of Northumbria
1995 PhD, University of Newcastle upon Tyne and University of Northumbria
2007-2009: Lecturer in Cellular Dermatology and Oncology, Newcastle University
2006-2007: Research Council UK Fellow, Newcastle University
2000-2006: Senior Reserach Assocaite, Newcastle University and University of Rome, 'Tor Vergata'
1995-2000: Research Associate, Newcastle University
Translational research in my group is directed towards the molecular and immuno-biology of skin cancer and inflammatory skin disease, with a particular emphasis on the definition and molecular regulation of cellular signalling mechanisms regulating the development and progression of melanoma. A specific focus is the regulation of apoptosis and autophagy and the contribution of these signalling mechanisms to tumour development and therapy resistance, for which we have recently identified a number of novel drug targets as well as prognostic biomarkers able to identify patient subgroups at greatest risk of disease progression.
Research is also focussed towards the development of novel translational models of skin disease, for which drug development and toxicity studies are currently on-going in collaboration with the commercial sector as well the evaluation of potential therapeutics to prevent melanoma invasion and metastasis.
P207153W0 (2014): A novel skin model to study adverse immune reactions and drug sensitivity
UK1419976.4. (2014): Ambra-1 and Loricrin as biomarkers of ulcerative melanoma
I am committed to supporting post graduate research with a proven track record in the successful career development of early/mid career researchers. I have been the primary supervisor to national and international PhD, MD, MRes, and MSc students from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds, supervising to timely completion 6 PhD, 1MD, 1 MSc, and 10 MRes students since 2009.
I am a Fellow of the Medical Sciences Graduate School and welcome informal enquiries from prospective doctoral or masters students.
Current PhD supervision:
Previous Doctoral Supervision:
I am the principle investigator of research council, national charity and commercially funded projects, currently including:
I am also a co investigator of other currently funded melanoma research projects and studies addressing the contribution of deregulated autophagy or apoptosis to other disease settings including:
November 2014: Plenary Presentation, International Society for Melanoma Research, Zurich, Switzerland
May 2014: Invited Plenary Speaker, Melanoma Focus UK, Oxford, UK
April 2014: Local Organiser of The British Society for Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting (245 delegates)
May 2013: Invited Plenary Speaker to The International Melanoma Working Group (Chair, J Kirkwood, Pittsburgh, USA), Prague, Czechoslovakia
November 2011: Plenary Speaker, International Society for Melanoma Research, Tampa, USA
November 2011: Invited International Speaker, The National Institute of Health/National Cancer Institute Oncology Seminar Programme, Bethesda, USA
2010: Invited Panel Member of The British Skin Foundation Grants Advisory Board
September 2010: Invited External Speaker, The Blizzard Institute, London and The Bart’s Hospitals and Queen Mary University of London
September 2010: Co-organiser and lecturer for The European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR) 'molecular biology and cell signalling' training course (Vienna, Austria)
June 2009: Invited International Plenary Speaker, European Commission FP7, Marie Curie Workshop, Rome Italy
2009: Elected Committee Member of The British Society for Investigative Dermatology
Reviewer for grant and fellowship proposals for the MRC, CRUK, BSF , Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and the European Commission
Reviewer for leading dermatology/oncology/cell signalling journals including Journal of The National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Journal of Cell Biology, Science Translational Medicine, Cell Death and Differentiation, Autophagy
BSc (hons) Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacology, MSci Biomedical Sciences and MBBS teaching and assessment :
Personal Tutor to national and international BSc and MBBS students
Academic lead for MRC mission core training for all faculty MRC funded postgraduate students
MRes/MSc in Medical and Molecular Biosciences teaching and assessment:
Personal Tutor to national and international MRes and MSc students
Internal PhD examiner and Assessor