I have a broad cancer research background, having completed projects in paediatric bone tumours, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer, spanning epidemiological studies, basic laboratory research, and NHS clinical trials.
My postdoctoral work in Professor Rob Clarke's lab has focussed on breast cancer metastasis, specifically on understanding metastatic niche factors and how these promote the growth of disseminated cancer stem cells in distant sites. As part of this work I established 20 new patient derived xenograft (PDX) models in the Clarke lab, and I identified a specific signalling pathway promoting the colonisation of breast cancer stem cells in bone. I was awarded the 2019 Breast Cancer Now Sir Antony Driver Prize for my research.
During my postdoctoral work I developed a particular interest in metastasis models, and in 2019 I was awarded my first independent grant from CRUK/NC3Rs to work in collaboration with Professor John Greenman and Dr Victoria Green at University of Hull, adapting existing tissue-on-a-chip technology as a novel model of metastatic colonisation. This model is now being validated, and this project is due for completion at the end of 2020.
I obtained both my undergraduate and Masters degrees from Newcastle University, graduating in 2007. Before commencing my PhD I first worked as a clinical trials co-ordinator within the NHS (6 month position), where I was involved in setting up and recruting patients into a variety of oncology trials. I then returned to academic research, working as a Research Assistant (6 month project) on epidemiological studies investigating incidence and mortality of paediatric bone tumours. These 2 positions gave me a broad grounding on different aspects of cancer research, and I became particularly interested in the concept of bench-to-bedside research.
I then undertook my PhD at Newcastle University in drug resistance mechanisms in breast and ovarian cancer stem cells, graduating in 2012. During my PhD I decided I wanted to focus my research in the field of cancer metastasis, and I moved to Manchester for postdoctoral training in Prof Rob Clarke's lab.