Defeating cancer

We advance the prevention, diagnoses and treatment of cancer. We bring together biologists, oncologists, pathologists and surgeons with the aim of detecting the disease early, and stopping it from spreading. We pioneer research and treatments, and train a new generation of cancer researchers to tackle the disease. We have developed innovative immunotherapies for cancer that stimulate the body’s immune system. 

Cancer research is being undertaken by a large number of researchers across a diverse range of disciplines within the Biodiscovery Institute. Three key units that are focused on defeating cancer are the University of Nottingham Centre for Cancer Sciences, the Nottingham Breast Cancer Research Centre and the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC).

The Nottingham Centre for Cancer Sciences comprises over 30 academics and brings together scientists and clinicians with expertise in biological and translational areas of oncology and stem cell biology including cell and molecular biology, immunology, clinical cancer medicine and therapeutic cell biology. We also work closely with academics from the from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science who bring their expertise in extracellular vesicles, genetics and RNA biology to us. In addition, we work closely with colleagues in Pharmacy with expertise in drug delivery and novel biomaterials.

We aim to develop new, better and earlier treatments, diagnosis and detection methods to target cancer by focusing at the interface between laboratory and clinical research. Our efforts concentrate on better understanding of the cancer cell, the tumour microenvironment and how we perceive cancers, by not only studying cancers themselves, but importantly the interactions between the tumour and the body. Our stem cell biology group model a wider range of diseases and mechanisms. In all cases, the close collaboration between laboratory and clinic promote exchange of both ideas and clinical material to facilitate more effective cancer research.

The Nottingham Breast Cancer Research Centre (NBCRC) brings together clinicians, scientists and researchers at the University of Nottingham and pathologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and nurses from the Nottingham Breast Institute and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. The aim of the centre is to raise awareness of breast cancer and the research being conducted locally to improve our understanding of breast cancer and developing novel therapies.

The Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre was established in 1997 at the University of Nottingham. It brings together a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals and researchers. The aim of the centre is to improve the understanding, treatment and outcomes of children and young adults who develop brain tumours. The CBTRC has around 40 core staff, including both university and NHS researchers. We are dedicated to helping children who are diagnosed with brain tumours, both now and in the future.

Beyond these three centres, Scancell are also involved in cancer vaccine creation. 

Research highlights

Our key research projects focus on understanding the biology of cancer, including the development of models of human cancer, and using that knowledge for the development of new treatment strategies.  We are also active in developing cancer diagnostic tools and in improving prediction outcomes. Our research is funded through multiple charities and the NIHR.

Find out more about our research

Our researchers

Search the table below to find out more about our researchers. You are able to filter the table by searching for names, keywords, and techniques.

Full list of our researchers
NameResearch keywordsResearch techniques
Cinzia Allegrucci Cancer, stem cells, epigenetics, disease modelling, genetics iPSC technology, 3D cell culture models, in vitro assays, epigenetic analysis
Kenton Arkill Vascular permeability, endothelial glycocalyx, electron microscopy, correlative microscopy techniques     Functional permeability assays, 3D TEM, correlative microscopy techniques
Jennifer Ashworth Biomaterials, fibrosis, cancer research, 3D in vitro models, imaging tissue 3D cell culture, biomaterials design and fabrication, primary cell/ organoid culture, confocal imaging, micro-CT analysis
Dave Bates Angiogenesis, vascular remodelling, cholangiocarcinoma, renal glomerular physiology, diabetes In vivo imaging, RNA splicing, molecular and cellular biology, drug discovery
Andrew Benest Endothelial cells, lymphatics, angiogenesis, vasculature, transcription factors  Transcriptomic, in vivo modelling, confocal imaging
Daniel Booth Chromosomes, mitosis, advanced-imaging, cancer, cell-division CLEM, electron microscopy, advanced proteomics, advanced imaging, light microscopy, volume microscopy
Tracey D Bradshaw Cancer, pharmacology, drug discovery, apoferritin, molecular mechanisms Tissue culture, cell biology, MTT, western blot, flow cytometry
Yan Chen Artificial intelligence, quality assurance, digital screening, medical imaging       Programming, algorithms, artificial intelligence, DICOM image processing
Beth Coyle Paediatric brain tumours, resistance, metastasis, tumour microenvironment    3D cell culture, apoptosis, cytotoxicity, migration assays
Madhumita Dandapani Childhood cancer, brain tumours, cancer metabolism, clinical trials, global health   Immunohistochemistry, western blotting, cell culture, multi-omics, systematic reviews
Lodewijk V. Dekker Drug discovery, cancer, thrombosis, protein kinase, protein interactions   Biochemical assays, cellular assays, enzyme assays, assay development, high throughput screening
James Dixon Gene therapy, gene editing, vaccines, nucleic acid delivery, regenerative medicine Genetic engineering/ editing, nanoformulation, reporter assays, particle characterisation, biomaterials
Ingrid Dreveny Proteases in the ubiquitin system, protein structure, structure-aided drug design, enzyme specificity, proteins in biotechnology Macromolecular X-ray crystallography, isothermal titration calorimetry, biochemistry, protein engineering
Lindy Durrant Cancer immunotherapy, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, T cells, post-translational modifications Production of antibodies, vaccine design, cancer animal models, T cell assays, ELISA
Isioma Egbuniwe Bile duct cancer, tumour microenvironment, T and B cells, lymphatics, digital pathology      Primary cell isolation and culture, multi-parameter flow cytometry, 3D tumour-immune cell co-culture systems, histopathology, image analysis
Libby Ellis Cancer epidemiology, population health, inequalities, cancer outcomes, health policy   Epidemiological and statistical methodology, electronic health data analysis
Hester Franks Cancer, immunotherapy, macrophages, tumour microenvironment, melanoma Primary immune cell isolation and culture, flow cytometry, RNAScope
Kevin Gaston Cancer, gene regulation, transcription, cell biology, protein-DNA interactions      RNA sequencing, ChIP sequencing, cell migration assays, cell viability assays, EMSA
Pavel Gershkovich Biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, drug delivery, intestinal lymphatic transport, targeted biodistribution Bioanalysis, HPLC, in vivo pharmacokinetics, in vivo biodistribution, pharmacokinetic modelling and simulation
Anna Grabowska Cancer models, tumour microenvironment, target validation, drug screening, drug delivery  Cancer modelling, 3D tissue culture, quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry
Andrew Green Breast cancer, molecular pathology, glutamine metabolism, genotype, phenotype     Immunohistochemistry, tissue microarrays (TMAs), laser microdissection, gene expression profiling, in situ hybridisation
Mohammad Ilyas Colorectal cancer, mutation analysis, liquid biopsy, cancer biomarkers, tissue modelling          Histopathology, PCR, co-culture models, gene cloning
Andrew Jackson Cancer, immunotherapy, dendritic Cells (DC), T-cells, signalling       Isolation of rare primary leukocyte subsets, flow cytometry, small molecule kinase inhibitors, multi-cellular immune culture systems
Victoria James Extracellular vesicles, RNA biology, cancer metastasis, epigenetics, inter-cellular communication Nanoparticle biology, RNA biology, cell biology, epigenetics
Sheela Jayaraman Gene expression, chromatin, PRH/ HHEX, cell signalling, transcriptomics         RNAseq, western blotting, subcloning, chromatin immunoprecipitation
Jennie Jeyapalan Epigenomics, prostate cancer, transcriptional regulation, splicing Genomics, RNA seq analysis, molecular biology, cell culture
Laura Kilpatrick Molecular pharmacology, G protein coupled receptors, receptor tyrosine kinases, signalling complexes, protein-protein interactions   Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET), fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence imaging, pharmacological assays
Anbarasu Lourdusamy Brain cancer, childhood cancer, systems biology, artificial intelligence, big data Bioinformatics, NGS (RNAseq, ChIPseq, scRNAseq and ATAC-seq) data analysis, machine learning, statistics, high-performance computing
Srinvasan Madhusudan Medical oncology, clinical trials, breast cancer, DNA repair therapeutics, drug discovery       DNA repair assays, immunohistochemical techniques, clinical trial methodologies
Anna Malecka Cancer, immunology, macrophages, comparative oncology, immune-stromal interactions Flow cytometry, stroma-Immune co-culture system, cell culture
Stewart Martin Breast, brain and ovarian cancer, radiotherapy, metastasis, novel drugs, redox homeostasis, calpain proteases      Radiation biology, immunohistochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Alan McIntyre Cancer, hypoxia (low oxygen), acidosis, transcription, epigenetics, angiogenesis CRISPR CAS9, RNA-SEQ, ChIP, tumour cell phenotype assays, hypoxia and acidosis investigations
Cathy Merry Matrix biology, cancer research, disease modelling, glycobiology   Glycobiology, hydrogel development, stem cell culture and differentiation, matrix biology, in vitro disease models
Nigel Minton Exploiting autotrophy, reducing carbon emissions, industrial biotechnology, microbial pathogenesis, anaerobes     Synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, gas fermentation, genome editing, therapeutic delivery systems
Shailesh N. Mistry Drug discovery, chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), allosteric modulators          Medicinal chemistry, compound purification, spectroscopic analysis, ligand/ structure-based drug discovery
Nigel Mongan Bioinformatics, precision medicine, prostate cancer, breast cancer Bioinformatics, epitranscriptomics
Abhik Mukarjee Digital/molecular pathology, gastrointestinal and pancreaticobiliary cancers, translational therapeutics, inflammatory bowel disease Histopathology and immunohistochemistry, digital pathology and image analyses, molecular pathology, functional biology
Paloma Ordóñez Morán Stem cells, inflammation, differentiation, cancer, tumour heterogeneity 3D organoids, primary mouse and human cell culture, stem cell-based approaches, in vivo assays, gene expression
Poulam Patel Melanoma, renal cancer, cancer immunotherapy, clinical trials, translational medicine Clinical trials, immune assays,
Ruman Rahman Brain cancer, cancer heterogeneity, cancer metabolism, biomaterial-based drug delivery, integrated genomics  3D primary tumour culture, qRT-PCR, gene microarrays/ knockdowns, Western blotting,
Emad Rakha Breast cancer, pathology, classification, prognosis, digital pathology, AI, predictive and prognostic markers        Digital pathology, immunohistochemistry, image analysis
Judith Ramage Cancer, immunology, T-lymphocytes, vaccines        Multiplex fluorescence immunohistochemistry, T-cell assays 
Frankie Rawson Wireless bioelectronics, bioelectricity, electrochemistry, bionanotechnology, bioelectronic medicine SECM-AFM, voltammtery, amperomerty
Timothy Ritzmann Childhood brain tumours, brain tumour immunity, childhood cancer, ependymoma, cancer recurrence     RNA-sequencing, multiplex immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, clinical data analysis, childhood brain tumour clinical trials
Karen Robinson Helicobacter pylori, antimicrobial resistance, infection and immunity, gastric cancer, bacterial virulence       Flow cytometry, real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, antimicrobial sensitivity testing, immune cell purification and culture
Claire Seedhouse Blood cancers, drug resistance, stem cells, dormancy, functional consequences of mutations Quantitative PCR, flow cytometry, primary suspension cultures
Abdol Shams-Nateri Adult stem cells and cancer, precision oncology/ personalized cancer treatments, intra-tumour heterogeneity, cell signalling and transcription, ubiquitin proteasome system and F-box proteins         3D Organoids and explants models, gene targeting and transgenics, CRISPR-Cas gene editing systems, epithelial and hematopoietic stem cells assays
Stuart Smith High grade glioma, low grade glioma, childhood brain tumours, drug delivery, tumour heterogeneity rtPCR, RNA methylation, IHC, FACS
Panos Soultanas DNA replication, DNA repair, replication-metabolism regulation, genome stability Protein expression, purification, polymerase and helicase assays, analytical ultracentrifugation, SPR
Ian Spendlove Controlling iTreg, engineering T cells, cloning TCRs from cancer patients, cancer survivors, anti cancer antibodies.     TCR cloning/ transduction, CRISPR-Cas9 of primary leukocytes, flow sorting rare T cells, differentiating iTreg, autophagosome purification.
Michael Stocks Medicinal chemistry, drug discovery, cancer, antimicrobial resistance, prodrugs       Synthesis, drug optimisation, drug delivery, medicinal chemistry
Sarah Storr Cancer, breast cancer, DARPP-32, calpain, cell signalling     Cell culture, bioinformatics, immunohistochemistry, molecular biology, protein purification
Neil Thomas Enzyme mechanism, enzyme inhibitors, biopharmaceutics, silk and other protein-based biomaterials, nanobiotechnology    Bioconjugation, chemiluminescence, un-natural amino acid mutagenesis, enzyme activity assays, enzyme inhibitor design
Alex Thompson Blood cancer, stem cell technologies, pre-clinical evaluation, next-generation models, drug discovery       In vivo modelling, iPSC maintenance and differentiation, haematopoiesis, colony-forming assays, gene expression profiling
Jing Yang Biomaterials, 3D bioprinting, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, immunomodulatory materials 3D printing, biomaterial preparation, chemical characterisation, mechanical testing, cell culture

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