Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Luke Gaughan

Senior Lecturer



1998: B.SC (Hons) Biochemistry.
Newcastle University

2001: Ph.D Molecular Biology
Urology Research Group
School of Surgical and Reproductive Sciences
Newcastle University

Previous Positions

2001- 2006: Post-Doctoral Research Associate.
Urology Research Group,
Northern Institute For Cancer Research,
Newcastle University.
Funded by the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR)


British Association for Cancer Research (BACR)

Endocrine Society

Honours and Awards

British Association for Cancer Research Young Translational Scientist Award 2006



Research Interests

1. Mechanisms of Androgen Receptor (AR) Regulation in Prostate Cancer
2. Epigenetics and splicing control of AR synthesis 

Current Work

The main theme of my research over the last 5 years has been to examine key molecular processes that govern and facilitate AR signalling in advanced prostate cancer with the ultimate objective to identify new targets for therapy. By developing new models of hormone

therapy-resistance that includes engineered cell lines (O’Neill et al., 2015; Jones et al., 2015; Jones et al., 2017) and patient biopsy material as explants, our toolkit for prostate cancer research has evolved to enable more robust, clinically-relevant interrogation of AR function. This has resulted in productive and long-standing industrial collaborations with AstraZeneca, and more recently with CellCentric and J&J, to facilitate Newcastle-based mechanism of action and efficacy studies of several clinical candidate epigenetic and hormonal therapeutics.


In the last 5 years, the group has identified and comprehensively validated a number of key AR coregulators in PC development, such as the histone demethylase enzyme KDM4B, which entered a collaborative CR UK-funded drug development campaign in collaboration with the Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton. In addition, our work has identified key processes that govern generation and activity of alternatively spliced forms of the AR, including Aurora kinase A and FOXA1. Furthermore, we have provided insight into the altered functionality of AR mutants in advanced disease that has highlighted new treatment targets and biomarkers for patients resistant to the hormonal therapies bicalutamide and enzalutamide.


Our more recent work has focused on the use of genome editing techniques to create genetically altered cell lines (e.g. CWR22Rv1-AR-EK; Kounatidou et al., (2019) Nucleic Acids Research) and as a platform to enable locus specific fluorescence and protein-protein interaction studies of all AR isoforms.

Postgraduate Supervision

2015-2019: Cancer Research UK-funded PhD student

2017-2021: Cancer Research UK-funded PhD student

2018-2022: Cancer Research UK-funded PhD student

2019-2023: BBSRC CASE studentship with AstraZeneca

2019-2023: Cancer Research UK-funded PhD student



Medical Research Council Industry Collaboration Award (AstraZeneca) (2017-2020)

Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Award (2019-2021)

Cancer Research UK






2008-Present: BMS3007 Research in Biomedical Sciences, Lecturer

2009-Present: BMS3012 Cancer Biology and Therapy, Lecturer

2010-Present:BMS 3008 Integrated Biomedical Sciences, Module Leader