Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Fiona Malcomson

Research Associate

Background

I am a Research Associate working within the Human Nutrition Research centre in the group of Professor John Mathers. I completed my undergraduate degree in Pharmacology (BSc) at Newcastle University in 2010, followed by a Masters in Research (MRes) in 2011. I graduated from my PhD in 2015, investigating the effects of a dietary intervention supplementing healthy participants with dietary fibre (non-digestible cabohydrates) on markers of large bowel health and bowel cancer in rectal mucosal biopsies. In particular, I am interested in the role of WNT signalling in colorectal carcinogenesis and bowel cancer risk and how this is modulated by lifestyle factors, particularly diet. I am also interested in the role of epigenetics in bowel cancer e.g. microRNA expression and DNA methylation, the epigenetic regulation of the WNT signalling pathway, and the modulation of bowel cancer risk via epigenetic mechanisms.

Following on from my PhD, I am continuing investigations into the role of lifestyle factors, particularly diet, physical activity, adiposity and sedentary behaviour, on markers of bowel cancer risk and healthy ageing. I am managing the Biomarkers Of Risk of Colorectal Cancer (BORICC) Follow-Up (BFU) Study- the first longitudinal study to investigate the effects of 12 years of ageing and lifestyle factors on markers of bowel cancer risk and healthy ageing (e.g. musculoskeletal function).

I am particularly interested in individual lifestyle factors with a link to bowel cancer risk, such as dietary fibre and red meat intake, as well as physical activity, adiposity and sedentary behaviour. I am also taking a more holistic approach to investigate the effects of dietary patterns or adherence to the WCRF/AICR Cancer Prevention Recommendations on markers of bowel cancer risk.

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Publications