I am currently a Senior Lecturer in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research, which is embedded within the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester. I am also Programme Director for the new Developmental Biology degree programme within the Faculty of Life Sciences.
My PhD and initial postdoctoral research was undertaken in the laboratory of Alfonso Martinez Arias at the University of Cambridge. Here I investigated the interaction between the Notch and Wnt pathways during Drosophila development. For my second postdoctoral fellowship, I moved to the laboratory of Anthony Brown at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York. My research there focussed on Wnt signalling in mammalian cells including mammary epithelial cells and the developing murine mammary gland.
In 2001, I returned to the University of Manchester to establish my own laboratory and to take up a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship. We are currently investigating the role Notch signalling plays in breast cancer. We are particularly interested in how the signalling pathway controls cellular behaviours like proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion and fate and therefore regulates normal mammary gland development, and tumour initiation and progression. We are also investigating the crosstalk between the Notch and Wnt signalling pathways, as mimicking these points of crosstalk may allow the development of novel and very specific drugs to regulate signalling through the two pathways.