Cancer Cell Biology


Senior Lecturer Kathryn Skelding

Senior Lecturer Kathryn Skelding

Research Students

Elizabeth Pearsall

Jackson Gilchrist

Maddeleine Birgersson


The group are investigating novel signal transduction pathways that control how breast cancer and leukaemia cells proliferate, metastasise and develop resistance to chemotherapeutics, with a view to developing new anti-cancer therapies that target these pathways that are less toxic than existing treatments.

In recent years, they have made several significant discoveries, and identified a novel target and therapeutic inhibitor that is effective in a range of cancer types (whilst leaving normal cells untouched), including acute myeloid leukaemia and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, breast cancer, and glioma.

The group have shown that this inhibitor significantly reduces tumour burden and increases survival times in mouse models of acute leukaemias, and outperforms existing gold standard treatments for these cancers.

This inhibitor is currently being commercialised by Newcastle Innovation.

As the overarching aim is to improve patient quality of life, they are also focused on developing novel methods of determining prognosis and ways of stratifying patient outcome following administration of existing treatments, so that a more personalised approach for cancer treatment can be developed.

In addition to the group’s drug discovery interests, they use a variety of proteomic and molecular techniques to identify novel biomarkers that can be used for the improved treatment of leukaemias, breast and prostate cancers.