Dr Patrick Caswell MSc, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Cell Matrix Bio & Regen. Med

Full contact details
View graph of relations


My lab aims to answer the fundamental question of how cells respond to their physical and biochemical extracellular matrix environment, and how the matrix niche is generated in cancer. We focus primarily on cancer cell migration and invasion in 3D-matrix, in particular in ovarian cancer, and how the metastatic matrix niche is formed.

Our current research centres on the functions of vesicle trafficking pathways, in particular the endocytic system, in controlling cell matrix interactions in cancer. This builds on our published work, demonstrating that endocytic trafficking of extracellular matrix receptors (integrins) controls local signalling to facilitate cancer cell migration in complex 3D-environments. We identified a pathway controlled by RabGTPases which rescues active integrins from lysosomes to facilitate invasion (Dozynkiewicz et al Dev. Cell (2012). We also showed that Rab11-driven recycling of integrins and co-cargo receptor tyrosine kinases controls signalling of RhoGTPases (Jacquemet et al. JCB (2015)), and changes the architecture of F-actin in invasive pseudopods to generate filopodial actin-spike protrusions that promote invasive migration of cancer cells (Paul et al. JCB (2015)). In addition, using mathematical modelling approaches, we determined feedback loops that control GTPase activity and cancer cell migration and invasion (Hetmanski et al. (2016) PLOS Comput. Biol.).


Patrick is principal investigator and senior lecturer in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

After undergraduate studies at the University of Nottingham, Patrick completed his PhD at the University of Leicester in 2004.  He then moved on to a postdoc at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, until taking up his position at the University of Manchester in July 2010 with a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship.

Areas of expertise

  • QH301 Biology - Cell Biology, Cell Adhesion, Cell Signalling, Migration, Metastasis, Microscopy, Proteomics, Vesicle trafficking

Research Networks and Beacons

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains

Related information