Northern Institute for Cancer Research

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 Transcription of AR and Estrogen Receptor (ER)

Current Work

Histone methyltransferases (HMTs), histone acetyltranferases (HATs) and the enzymes that reverse the effects of these proteins play a fundamental role in regulating transcription. My group are currently deciphering the roles of several HMT and histone demethylase enzymes in AR and ER regulation in prostate and breast cancer development. We are particularly interested in the global epigenetic changes that occur as a means of facilitating nuclear hormone receptor transcriptional activity and how they are deregulated in transformed cells.


Outside of this area, the group is currently generating novel tools to assess structure-function relationships of specific domains of the AR to potentiate the development of new receptor-targeting therapeutics for prostate cancer. This is being performed in conjunction with Astex Pharmaceuticals as part of an MRC CASE studentship.

As part of a Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca co-funded PhD studentship project we have developed a highly informative cell-based system to characterise prostate cancer-relevant AR mutations for testing of new therapeutics against aberrantly functioning receptors, and to provide biomarkers for disease stratification and, ultimately, novel targets for therapy.   

Postgraduate Supervision

2012-2016: MRC-funded PhD student

2014-2018: Cancer Research UK-funded PhD student

2015-2019: Prostate Cancer UK-funded PhD student



Cancer Research UK: Funding one PhD student (2014-2018)

Medical Research Council and Astex Pharmaceuticals: Funding one PhD student (2012-2016)

Prostate Cancer UK: Funding one PhD student (2015-2019)

Worldwide Cancer Research: Funding one post-doctoral research associate (2011-2015)






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