Dr Debbie Hicks
Faculty Fellow/Senior Research Associate
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 2236
- Address: Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre
Northern Institute for Cancer Research
Level 6, Herschel Building
Newcastle upon Tyne
PhD (Molecular genetics) 2009, Newcastle University.
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences (molecular biology), 2003, University of Edinburgh
2004- 2013 Researcher (to Faculty Fellow) MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease at Newcastle, Intitute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University
Honours and Awards
Faculty Fellowship awarded in June 2013 by the Faculty of Medical Sciences in recognition of academic leadership potential
Elsevier award for best oral presentation. 18th Congress of the World Muscle Society, Asilomar, California, October 2-6, 2013
$550 travel fellowship awarded to attend 18th Congress of the World Muscle Society, Asilomar, California, October 2-6, 2013.
€500 travel fellowship awarded to attend 15th Congress of the World Muscle Society, Kumamoto, Japan, October 12-16, 2010
Poster selected from >200 for presentation in ‘highlights’ session. 15th Congress of the World Muscle Society, Kumamoto, Japan, October 12-16, 2010.
Elsevier Award for best oral presentation. 13th Congress of the World Muscle Society, Newcastle, UK, October 17-20, 2008.
€500 travel fellowship awarded to attend the 11th Congress of the World Muscle Society, Bruges, Belgium, October 11-14, 2006
Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant paediatric brain tumour and causes approximately 10% of childhood cancer deaths. Improvements in overall survival rates have plateaued at around 70%, and current therapies cause permanently disabling late-effects in the majority of survivors; there is a clear unmet need for new therapeutic approaches. Our groundbreaking discovery in 2005 of a favourable-risk medulloblastoma disease group with >90% survival, defined by the status of the b-catenin prognostic biomarker, has led to the design of forthcoming pan-European Phase II/III clinical trials, which will stratify therapy according to molecular disease-risk. These pioneering trials based on our work will introduce molecular stratification for the first time in paediatric brain tumours, aimed at maximisation of survival alongside minimisation of late-effects.
Despite these major advances, disease biology is heterogeneous and validated prognostic biomarkers describe <20% of medulloblastomas. Importantly, >50% of patients have clinical high-risk disease (50-60% survival) and equivalent advances have not been made in these groups. Critically, they are ineligible for these new trials and are treated using heterogeneous protocols. In short, their disease biology is not sufficiently well understood to support new therapeutic strategies. I work on a CRUK Programme grant which will deliver improved outcomes by enabling (i) therapeutic reduction in favourable-risk patients, (ii) treatment intensification or modification in high-risk patients, and (iii) targeted delivery of novel molecular agents, together leading to enhanced survival rates and reduced therapy-induced late-effects.
Senior Research Associate on CRUK Programme grant 'Biomarker-driven individualisation of childhood medulloblastoma therapy'
PhD:Co-supervisor of two students, October 2012-June December 2013)
MRes (Medical Genetics): 2 students (2011), 2 students (2012)
BSc: 1 student (2009), 2 students (2010), 2 students (2011), 6 students (2013)
Staff: 1 supervisee (12 month secondment from collaborating lab; 2010), 3 summer work experience placements (2012), Technician (2011-2012)
Hicks D., lampe A., et al. Development of a diagnostic algorithm for patients with a Bethlem myopathy clinical phenotpye. 7th Congress of the European Consortia for neuromuscular Research. Basel, Switzerland, March 10-14, 2007.
Invited book chapters:
Hicks, Collins and Bushby. ‘Collagen type VI myopathies’ in Connective Tissue and its Heritable Disorders, eds: Royce PM, Stenmann B, Wiley-Liss. Springer Verlag, 2013.
Collagen Type VI-related disorders ( GeneReviews™), eds: Roberta A Pagon, Thomas D Bird, Cynthia R Dolan, Karen Stephens, Margaret P Adam. Seattle. 2012
Author of Collagen VI-related disorders GeneReview for GeneTests web resource (2012).
Reviewer/writer for the Genetics Home Reference web resource of the US NIH (2010).
Genetics expert on behalf of the Academy of Medical Sciences/Ipsos Mori on engagement exercise entitled ‘The use of human materials in animals’ (2010).
Article written for Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s ‘Target’ research magazine (2009).
- Schwalbe EC, Lindsey JC, Nakjang S, Crosier S, Smith AJ, Hicks D, Rafiee G, Hill RM, Iliasova A, Stone T, Pizer B, Michalski A, Joshi A, Wharton SB, Jacques TS, Bailey S, Williamson D, Clifford SC. Novel molecular subgroups for clinical classification and outcome prediction in childhood medulloblastoma: a cohort study. The Lancet Oncology 2017, 18(7), 958-971.
- Harris E, Topf A, Barresi R, Hudson J, Powell H, Tellez J, Hicks D, Porter A, Bertoli M, Evangelista T, Marini-Betollo C, Magnusson O, Lek M, MacArthur D, Bushby K, Lochmuller H, Straub V. Exome sequences versus sequential gene testing in the UK highly specialised Service for Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 2017, 12(151), -.
- Clifford SC, Lannering B, Schwalbe EC, Hicks D, O'Toole K, Nicholson SL, Goschzik T, Zur-Mühlen A, Figarella-Branger D, Doz F, Rutkowski S, Gustafsson G, Pietsch T. Biomarker-driven stratification of disease-risk in non-metastatic medulloblastoma: Results from the multi-center HIT-SIOP-PNET4 clinical trial. Oncotarget 2015, 6(36), 38827-38839.
- Hicks D, Farsani G, Laval S, Collins J, Sarkozy A, Martoni E, Shah A, Zou Y, Koch M, Bönnemann C, Roberts M, Lochmüller H, Bushby K, Straub V. Mutations in the collagen XII gene define a new form of extracellular matrix-related myopathy. Human Molecular Genetics 2014, 23(9), 2353-2363.
- Bushby KMD, Collins J, Hicks D. Collagen Type VI Myopathies. In: Progress in Heritable Soft Connective Tissue Diseases. Dordrecht: Springer, 2014, pp.185-199.
- Zou Y, Zwolanek D, Izu Y, Gandhy S, Schreiber G, Brockmann K, Devoto M, Tian Z, Hu Y, Veit G, Meier M, Stetefeld J, Hicks D, Straub V, Voermans NC, Birk DE, Barton ER, Koch M, Bönnemann CG. Recessive and dominant mutations in COL12A1 cause a novel EDS/myopathy overlap syndrome in human and mice. Human Molecular Genetics 2014, 23(9), 2339-2352.
- Sarkozy A, Hicks D, Hudson J, Laval SH, Barresi R, Hilton-Jones D, Deschauer M, Harris E, Rufibach L, Hwang E, Bashir R, Walter MC, Krause S, van den Bergh P, Illa I, Penisson-Besnier I, De Waele L, Turnbull D, Guglieri M, Schrank B, Schoser B, Seeger J, Schreiber H, Glaser D, Eagle M, Bailey G, Walters R, Longman C, Norwood F, Winer J, Muntoni F, Hanna M, Roberts M, Bindoff LA, Brierley C, Cooper RG, Cottrell DA, Davies NP, Gibson A, Gorman GS, Hammans S, Jackson AP, Khan A, Lane R, McConville J, McEntagart M, Al-Memar A, Nixon J, Panicker J, Parton M, Petty R, Price CJ, Rakowicz W, Ray P, Schapira AH, Swingler R, Turner C, Wagner KR, Maddison P, Shaw PJ, Straub V, Bushby K, Lochmuller H. ANO5 Gene Analysis in a Large Cohort of Patients with Anoctaminopathy: Confirmation of Male Prevalence and High Occurrence of the Common Exon 5 Gene Mutation. Human Mutation 2013, 34(8), 1111-1118.
- Hicks D, Collins JC, Bushby KMD. Collagen type VI myopathies. In: Royce PM, Stenmann B, Wiley-Liss, ed. Connective Tissue and its Heritable Disorders. Springer Verlag, 2013.
- Cossins J, Belaya K, Hicks D, Salih MA, Finlayson S, Carboni N, Liu WW, Maxwell S, Zoltowska K, Farsani GT, Laval S, Seidhamed MZ, WGS500 Consortium, Donnelly P, Bentley D, McGowan SJ, Muller J, Palace J, Lochmuller H, Beeson D. Congenital myasthenic syndromes due to mutations in ALG2 and ALG14. Brain 2013, 136(3), 944-956.
- Foley AR, Quijano-Roy S, Collins J, Straub V, McCallum M, Deconinck N, Mercuri E, Pane M, D'Amico A, Bertini E, North K, Ryan MM, Richard P, Allamand V, Hicks D, Lamande S, Hu Y, Gualandi F, Auh S, Muntoni F, Bonnemann CG. Natural history of pulmonary function in collagen VI-related myopathies. Brain 2013, 136(12), 3625-3633.
- Lampe A, Flanigan K, Bushby KMD, Hicks D. Collagen Type VI-related disorders. 2012. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1503/.
- Sarkozy A, Deschauer M, Carlier RY, Schrank B, Seeger J, Walter MC, Schoser B, Reilich P, Leturq F, Radunovic A, Behin A, Laforet P, Eymard B, Schreiber H, Hicks D, Vaidya SS, Glaser D, Carlier PG, Bushby K, Lochmuller H, Straub V. Muscle MRI findings in limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2L. Neuromuscular Disorders 2012, 22(s2), S122-S129.
- Penisson-Besnier I, Saint-Andre JP, Hicks D, Sarkozy A, Croue A, Hudson J, Lochmuller H, Dubas F. Myopathy caused by anoctamin 5 mutations and necrotizing vasculitis. Journal of Neurology 2012, 259(9), 1988-1990.
- Hicks D, Sarkozy A, Muelas N, Koehler K, Huebner A, Hudson G, Chinnery PF, Barresi R, Eagle M, Polvikoski T, Bailey G, Miller J, Radunovic A, Hughes PJ, Roberts R, Krause S, Walter MC, Laval SH, Straub V, Lochmuller H, Bushby K. A founder mutation in Anoctamin 5 is a major cause of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Brain 2011, 134(1), 171-182.
- Hicks D, Lampe AK, Laval SH, Allamand V, Jimenez-Mallebrera C, Walter MC, Muntoni F, Quijano-Roy S, Richard P, Straub V, Lochmuller H, Bushby KMD. Cyclosporine A treatment for Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy: a cellular study of mitochondrial dysfunction and its rescue. Brain 2009, 132(1), 147-155.
- Hicks D, Lampe A, Laval S, Allamand V, Jimenez-Mallebrera C, Walter M, Muntoni F, Quijano-Roy S, Richard P, Straub V, Lochmuller H, Bushby K. Response to letter from Bernardi. Brain 2009, 132(10), e122.
- Hicks D, Lampe AK, Barresi R, Charlton RG, Fiorillo C, Bonnemann CG, Hudson J, Sutton R, Lochmüller HKM, Straub VW, Bushby KMD. A refined diagnostic algorithm for Bethlem myopathy. Neurology 2008, 70(14), 1192-1199.
- Lampe AK, Zou Y, Sudano D, O'Brien KK, Hicks D, Laval SH, Charlton R, Jimenez-Mallebrera C, Zhang R-Z, Finkel RS, Tennekoon G, Schreiber G, Van Der Knaap MS, Marks H, Straub V, Flanigan KM, Chu M-L, Muntoni F, Bushby KMD, Bonnemann CG. Exon skipping mutations in collagen VI are common and are predictive for severity and inheritance. Human Mutation 2008, 29(6), 809-822.
- Jimenez-Mallebrera C, Maioli MA, Kim J, Brown SC, Feng L, Lampe AK, Bushby K, Hicks D, Flanigan KM, Bonnemann C, Sewry CA, Muntoni F. A comparative analysis of collagen VI production in muscle, skin and fibroblasts from 14 Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy patients with dominant and recessive COL6A mutations. Neuromuscular Disorders 2006, 16(9-10), 571-582.
- Clifford SC, Lannering B, Schwalbe EC, Hicks D, O'Toole K, Nicholson SL, Goschzik T, zur Muhlen A, Figarella-Branger D, Doz F, Rutkowski S, Gustafsson G, Pietsch T, SIOP-Europe PNET Grp. Biomarker-driven stratification of disease-risk in non-metastatic medulloblastoma: Results from the multi-center HIT-SIOP-PNET4 clinical trial. Oncotarget 2015, 6(36), 38827-38839.
- Izquierdo E, Yuan L, George S, Hubank M, Jones C, Proszek P, Shipley J, Gatz SA, Stinson C, Moore AS, Clifford SC, Hicks D, Lindsey JC, Hill RM, Jacques TS, Chalker J, Thway K, O'Connor S, Marshall L, Moreno L, Pearson A, Chesler L, Walker BA, De Castro DG. Development of a targeted sequencing approach to identify prognostic, predictive and diagnostic markers in paediatric solid tumours. Oncotarget 2017, 8(67), 112036-112050.
- Schwalbe EC, Hicks D, Rafiee G, Bashton M, Gohlke H, Enshaei A, Potluri S, Matthiesen J, Mather M, Taleongpong P, Chaston R, Silmon A, Curtis A, Lindsey JC, Crosier S, Smith AJ, Goschzik T, Doz F, Rutkowski S, Lannering B, Pietsch T, Bailey S, Williamson D, Clifford SC. Minimal methylation classifier (MIMIC): A novel method for derivation and rapid diagnostic detection of disease-associated DNA methylation signatures. Scientific Reports 2017, 7, 13421.
- Bushby KMD, Collins J, Hicks D. Collagen type VI myopathies. In: Jaroslava Halper, ed. Progress in Heritable Soft Connective Tissue Diseases. Dordrecht: Springer, 2014, pp.185-199.