Prof Keith Brennan BA, MA, PhD

Professor of Developmental Signalling

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I am currently Professor of Developmental Signalling within the Division of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Studies within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester. I am also Associate Dean for Internationalisation (Teaching, Learning and Students).  I have previously been Programme Director for the Developmental Biology degree programme and Deputy Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students 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.

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Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains


  • Breast Cancer, Cell Signalling, Tumour Initiation, Normal Development

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