- Research Lecturer
Tumour microenvironment, oncolytic viruses, primary tissue and translational science
My research is focused on the tumour microenvironment, notably addressing abnormal metabolism and dysfunctional immune activity. The structure and composition of tumour stroma can influence disease progression and, crucially, the performance of therapeutic drugs. Conventional laboratory models do not fully recapitulate the complexity of the tumour microenvironment and our research team makes extensive use of fresh biopsy material from patients. We have expanded this work to form a live tissue facility for the benefit of the department and our collaborators.
For the treatment of cancer, I am exploring the use of immunotherapy approaches that are designed to capitalise on and modulate the tumour phenotype. Oncolytic viruses are particularly interesting because they exploit both innate and adaptive immune dysfunction to replicate and spread while killing cells independently of drug resistance pathways.
Translating new therapies to the clinic often involves working with industry, either established companies or new spin-out biotechs from the University. Over the last 20 years I have been involved in many industrial collaborations in one form or another, helping to manage the development of new treatments from the initial innovation through to science-led clinical trials.