Dr Helen Reeves
Senior Lecturer & Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Email: helen.reeves@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4423
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 4301
  • Address: Northern Institute for Cancer Research
    Paul O'Gorman Building
    Medical School
    Framlington Place
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE2 4HH


My principal research interest is in the molecular pathogenesis of gastrointestinal tumours. In particular this involves the characterisation of the novel tumour suppressor gene KLF6 in these cancers, as well as the application of gene profiling in the detection, prognostication and classification of these diseases. During the corse of these studies, my group has identified novel pathways predisposing to the development and progression of chronic liver disease to cirrhosis and cancer, as well as candidates for therapeutic developent as drug targets.  My appointment is within the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, within which I collaborate closely with memebers of the Clinical and Translational and Drug Development groups. However, I maintain strong clinical and research links with the Liver Group and have initiated the Gastroenterology Reserach Tissue bank, which is central to our translational research projects.

Roles and Responsibilities

My clinical role is that of lead physician within the Hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, co-ordinating the care of patients with hepatocellular cancer in the North East. Referrals to this service have increased 10 fold in the last decade.

My research role and responsibility is that of a senior lecturer and lead PI in the Gastroenterology group in the Northern Institute for cancer research.  Presently my group includes 1 post doctoral scientist, 3 PhD students, 2 MD students and one clinical research associate. 


BMedSci, BM, BS, FRCP, PhD

Previous Positions

Nottingham City Hospital, JHO. Prof. AE Tattersfield 1990-91
Derby City Hospital, House Surgeon. Mr KG Callum. 1991
Newcastle Teaching Hospitals Medical SHO Rotation 1991-93
Clinical Research Associate University of Newcastle upon Tyne1993-97
Honorary Clinical Registrar, Freeman Hospital 1993-97
SpR in General Medicine and Gastroenterology 1997-00 Royal Victoria Infirmary (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) 1997-98 North Tees General Hospital (Stockton-on-Tees) 1998-99 South Cleveland Hospital (Middlesborough) 1999-00
Postdoc, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA 2000-03
SpR Freeman Hospital (FH) 2003-03
GlaxoSmithKline Senior Lecturer 2003


Member of the Royal College of Physicians
European Association for Study of the Liver
British Association for Study of the Liver

International Liver Cancer Association  

Honours and Awards

British Liver Trust laboratory support grant 1994
Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellowship 1995 Dewar Research Prize, Northern Association of Physicians 1997
Peel Medical Research Trust Travel Award 2000
American Association for Study of Liver Diseases Fellowship 2001 GlaxoSmithKline Senior Fellowship 2002
European Brewers Association Research Award 2003 Special Trustees Award 2003

GlaxoSmithKline Senior Clinician Scientist award 2003-2008 



Research Interests

  • Molecular pathogenesis of gastrointestinal cancers
  • The Role of the tumour suppressor gene Kruppel-like Factor 6 (KLF6) in the development and progression of chronic liver disease to cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer (HCC)
  • The role of KLF6 in hepatic glucose regulation and the development of non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • KLF6 as a predictive biomarker in colorectal cancer progression
  • KLF6 in chemotherapy induced liver injury (KLF6) 
  • Type 2 diabetes, obesity and HCC
  • Exploitation of the DNA damage response (DDR) as a targeted therapy for patients with HCC 
  • The role of Sulfatase-2 (SULF2) in NAFLD progression and HCC
  • SULF-2 as a drug development target in HCC and pancreatic cancers 

 Other Expertise

  • Microarray analyses
  • The application of serum proteomics to chronic liver disease and HCC
  • Animal models of NAFLD and HCC 

Current Work

  • Characterisation of KLF6 in premalignant and malignant gastrointestinal disease
  • Characterisation of the KLF6IVS1-27G>A polymorphism in NAFLD and HCC
  • Exploration of KLF6 in the regulation of glucokinase and hepatic glucose metabolism
  • Exploration of KLF6 in chemotherapy induced liver injury (CALI)
  • Identification and characterisation of serum biomarkers for the surveillance of HCC
  • Inhibition of DNA Repair as a treatment strategy for HCC
  • SULF2 as a therapeutic candidate for patients with HCC and pancreatic cancers

Future Research

  • Development of biomarkers for HCC surveillance and guiding targeted therapy for those affected

  • Development of therapeutoc stratagies to prevent HCC development

  • Development of targeted therapies for patients with HCC 

Research Roles

  • Group leader
  • Supervisor of MD and PhD students
  • Supervisor of undegraduate students
  • PI for HPB and gastroenterology reserach tissue bank 

Postgraduate Supervision

  1. One post doctoral researcher
  2. One clinical research associate

Esteem Indicators

  • Publications.
  • Awarded grants
  • Invited lectures and session chair at National and International meetings


  • FP7 funded project 'FLIP' - Fatty Liver Inhibition of Progression. Subproject - The Role of KLF6 in the development and progression of HCC'.
  • LiverNorth studentship - DNA-PK as a therapeutic strategy in HCC
  • CR UK Bursary to Kei Hui - KLF6 in CALI
  • Peel medical research trust - KLF6 as a predictive biomarker in colorectal cancer

Industrial Relevance

Hoping to engage industrial partners in serum biomarker projectsnone


  • Hepatocellular cancer
  • HCC
  • KLF6
  • Alternative splicing
  • proteomincs
  • DNA-PK
  • DDR
  • SULF2
  • CALI

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Informal clinical ward based teaching on a monthly basis
  • Lecturer on CSIM3 course
  • Undergraduate tutor
  • Undergraduate students - 2 honours projects students and 2 Mres students

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Lecturer to Gastroenterology SpRs
  • Lecturer to Oncology SpRs
  • Lecturer to Transplant co-ordinators
  • Informal ward based clinical teaching
  • Non- clinical - PhD students; MD students