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Professor of Molecular Oncology, University of Bradford

Research Interests
Cancer, Transcription, Drug discovery, HOX genes, EN2, Biomarker

Study History
1993 - PhD Biochemistry, University of Birmingham
1990 - BA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

Professional History
2006-2014 Senior Lecturer in Molecular Oncology, University of Surrey
2000-2006 Lecturer in Cell and Developmental Biology, St. George's, University of London
1997-2000 Postdoctoral Scientist, Hubrecht Laboratory for Developmental Biology, Utrecht, The Netherlands
1993-1997 Postdoctoral Scientist, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London

Research Areas
Oncology, Cancer biology, Biomarkers, Drug development, Transcription

Current Projects
My group is developing strategies to target the HOX / Engrailed family of homeodomain containing transcription factors in cancer. Work starting in 2004 gave rise to the currently only available antagonist of HOX function, HXR9, which represents a novel therapeutic approach in cancer. I have a number of active industrial collaborations to further develop this technology, including the synthesis of small molecule inhibitors of HOX proteins.

In addition, we are studying the potential of HOX and Engrailed transcription factors as biomarkers for the diagnosis of a number of cancers including that of the prostate, lung and bladder. Our work has identified the EN2 transcription factor as a diagnostic marker for prostate cancer with twice the sensitivity of the currently used marker, PSA, and a high predictive value for tumour volume. EN2 is now undergoing clinical trials at multiple, international centres.

Research Collaborations
Dept Medicine, UCLA, USA
St. George’s, University of London
University of Kingston
University of Essen
Instituto Superiore Sanita, Rome
Randox Diagnostics Ltd (UK)
Zeus Diagnostics Inc (NJ, USA)


  • –present
    Professor of Molecular Oncology, University of Bradford