Faculty of Medical Sciences


Urology Research Group

Urologists help people with urinary tract problems, which chiefly involve dysfunction of the prostate, kidney, bladder and male sexual organs.

Theme Leader

Professor Craig Robson

Major Research Themes

  • Cancer
    • Androgen receptor signalling in prostate cancer: understanding the mechanisms by which prostate tumours develop resistance to current therapies
    • Isolation and characterization of urinary tract induced pluripotent stem cells
    • Inhibition of tyrosine kinases in advanced prostate cancer
    • Tracking prostate stem cells using mitochondrial markers
  • Urinary Tract Infection
    • Innate immune response of bladder and vaginal epithelium
    • Flaggelin as an initiating factor for E- coli UTI
  • Clinical Measurement Devices
    • Design and development of clinical measurement devices for urological care
  • Clinical research
    • Commissioned and investigator led randomised trials and health technology assessments funded by NIHR


  • Steroid receptor signalling
  • Epigenetic regulation of cell function, including phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, methylation, acetylation
  • siRNA library screening and assay development
  • Transcription factor analysis, including chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and ChIP sequencing
  • Stem (and iPS) cell characterization – flow cytometry cell sorting and separation, migration, invasion, EMT
  • Circulating tumour cells
  • Cell signalling through TLR and NFkappaB pathways
  • Defensin release and action
  • Bacterial phenotypic characterisation
  • Device design, development and bringing to commercial market
  • Design of clinical trials
  • Health-economic modelling

Key Collaborations

  • Drug Discovery and Imaging Group
  • Mitochondrial Research Group (Turnbull, Taylor), ION
  • RNA binding proteins (Elliott), IMG
  • UK Urology Research Network (major partners CRI, Cambridge (Neal); Beatson Institute Glasgow (Leung); Oxford University (Hamdy); Aberdeen University (McEwan); Imperial College London (Bevan)
  • European Union – PRO-NEST consortium
  • Epithelial Research Group (Hall), ICaMB
  • Bacterial Cell Biology Group (Aldridge), ICaMB
  • Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit (McColl, Vale), IHS
  • Biological Modelling Group (Rushton), SAGE
  • Medical Physics Department (Griffiths, Drinnan), NUTH FT
  • Aberdeen Clinical Trials Unit (N’Dow, Norrie), CHaRT

Developing Researchers

We strongly support the development of early career researchers - basic scientists and clinical research fellows. This has led to several personal fellowships and progression to senior positions at a number of UK university medical schools and hospital trusts.

We actively participate in Marie Curie training consortia across the European Union, involving fellow exchanges and short-term placements at European Institutions.

We are members of a number of external groups including European Association of Urology Guidelines Panel, Cochrane Incontinence Group and British Association of Urological Surgeons Academic Section.

Impact and Engagement

We focus our research on patients with urological problems, both cancer and benign conditions. We also act to encourage maintenance and improvement in collaboration between clinicians and scientists. We maintain and extend supply of human material – data/tissue/urine etc within a strict regulatory framework as well as operate to maximise successful clinical RTF applications.

Staff List

Dr Michael Drinnan
Honorary Reader

Telephone: 0191 282 5185 (RVI) / 0191 213 7161 (FH)

Dr Luke Gaughan
Senior Lecturer


Dr Judith Hall
Reader in Molecular Urology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8346

Christopher Harding
Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer

Telephone: 0191 2137321 (NHS secretary)

Dr Rakesh Heer
Joint CRUK/RCS(Eng) Clinician Scientist Fellow and hon. Consultant Urological Surgeon

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4300

Dr Stuart McCracken
Clinical Fellow/Honorary Consultant


Professor Craig Robson
Professor of Molecular Urology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4426

Professor Naeem Soomro
Honorary Professor of Urology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4300