Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Alison Tyson-Capper

Faculty Postgraduate Tutor (Associate Dean); Senior Lecturer



 Roles and Responsibilities

  • Faculty Postgraduate Tutor, Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research
  • Group Leader and Prinical Investigator


University Committee member  

  • University Postgraduate Operations Group (Faculty Tutor, Associate Dean)
  • University PgR Subcommittee of ULTSEC (Faculty Tutor, Associate Dean)
  • Graduate School Executive Board
  • Graduate School Committee
  • Faculty Student Representative Committee
  • Faculty Student Programme Development Committee 
  • Chair Postgraduate Committee (ICM)-2015
  • Management Committee (ICM)
  • Institute Executive Committee
  • ICM Athena Swan SAT
  • University ePortfolio Management Group (Chair)
  • University ePortfolio Steering Group

External Memberships

  • British Association for Cancer Research
  • European Association for Cancer Research
  • ASBMB (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
  • FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)
  • British Society for Cell Biology


  • 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 /2010 -31/07/2015 Senior Lecturer
  • 1/08/05-31/07/10 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

20Postgraduate students have graduated from my supervision since 2006 7 PhD students and13 MRes students). I am happy to consider applications from self-funded students.

Current students:

Anna-Lena Dittrich, PhD (1st supervisor)

Marco Silipo, PhD, (1st supervisor)

Helen Lawrence MRes/PhD (1st supervisor)

Soulaf Kakel, PhD (1st supervisor)

Amy Mawdesley (PhD supervisor)

Reviewer for grants:

MRC, Wellcome Trust, Action Medical Research, BBSRC, Wellbeing for Women, Breast Cancer Campaign.

Reviewer for manuscripts:  

Breast Cancer Research, Molecular Human Reproduction, Reproductive Sciences, Molecular Endocrinology, PlosONE, FEBS letters, Cancer Letters, Oncogene.

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; Gateshead Health National Health Service Foundation Trust.



  • 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
  • Project supervisor
  • Assessor (oral presentations/dissertations)
  • Postgraduate Teaching  

  • Faculty Postgraduate Tutor, Associate Dean
  • Facilitator of training skills sessions and workshops within the Research Student Development Programme
  • Equality & Diversity in the Research Environment
  • ICM Postgraduate Coordinator (2012-2014)
  • PhD and MRes supervisor  
  • PhD examiner and assessor
  • MRes assessor (oral presentations/dissertations)
  •       STEM Ambassador