Dr Marie Boyd joined SIPBS from the CRUK Beatson Laboratories in July 2009 as a SULSA Reader in Translational Biology. Dr Boyd was awarded a CRUK Senior Cancer Research Fellowship in 2005 to investigate targeted radionuclide therapy for cancer. Targeted radionuclide therapy utilised radiation like a drug, that is molecules which are accrued specifically in tumours have a radioactive molecule attached, and once the radiopharmaceutical is injected into the body and it gets concentrated only in tumour cells. This results in irradiation specifically to tumour cells sparing normal tissues and thus reduction of toxic side effects. Our research group focuses on expansion of this form of radiotherapy to more tumour types by investigation and development of novel radiopharmaceuticals and targets as well as by adopting gene therapy techniques.
The group also investigates the basic biology of cellular response to radiotherapy and have a large area of research into combining radiotherapy with novel and existing drugs and interrogation of cell signaling and mechanisms using traditional and “Omics” based approaches. The Boyd group have already translated some therapeutic schemes into clinical trial and other promising schemes based upon repurposing of existing drugs, are underway with Industrial partners including AstraZeneca.
Since the transfer to Strathclyde, the group has established several cross-disciplinary links within the TIC themes in areas of advanced Sciences and Technologies, Bionanotechnology, and Health Technologies at Strathclyde. These collaborations are formed around the need to establish multidisciplinary approaches to the development of cancer therapy. Our work fosters the marriage of cancer biology and radiobiology with platform technologies such as Laser Plasma Wakefield Accelerators, microfluidics, biogels and the combinations of novel and existing drugs and nanomaterials in the SU pipeline with chemo- and radiotherapy produced by a variety of radiation sources. The group will also be integral to the new TIC building hosting the SCAPA (Scottish centre for applied particle accelerators) facility. This research environment is a resource which is unique to Strathclyde University.
The Group is highly active within the recently established RICAS (Research In Cancer at Strathclyde) initiative, has been highly successful in achieving multi-disciplinary, Industry and clinical linked funding. The breadth of research has also recently expanded by involvement in the SIPBS led multi-university programme in pharmacoepidemiology. With our partners we are interrogating prescribing databases to interrogate questions which may lead to the development of better and more personalised cancer therapeutics. The group is also involved with several drug discovery programmes within and outwith the university and has developed phenotypic assay cascades to aid these programmes.
Dr Boyd's group is highly active in the research, industrial and clinical arena and the lab hosts senior fellows, Post docs, PhD students, research assistants, undergraduate and students from within SIPBS and from other University Departments (Physics, chemistry, EEE). The Boyd group will also host vertically Integrated Studentships (VIPs) within the lab, which are being run in collaboration with Chemistry and EEE and we are becoming partners in the Laser Plasma Accelerator Doctoral training centre spearheaded by the university.