Professor Susan Pyne

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Personal statement


1993-2001 Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow

2014 Laurens van Deenen Lecture (awarded by ICBL for out-standing and long-term contributions to lipid research)

2018 Fellowship Royal Society of Biology


SIPBS Roles & Responsibilities:

Director of Equality & Diversity


Research interests (in collaboration with Nigel Pyne)

  • Sphingosine 1-phosphate signalling in health and disease - at a cellular level (cell division, migration, survival) in model cell lines; in vascular function (e.g. regulation of vascular tone, cardioprotection); in disease (e.g. cancer of the breast, prostate, colon etc.).
  • Isoform diversity, regulation and spatial signalling involving sphingosine kinases
  • Isoform diversity and regulation of lipid phosphate phosphatases

Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a biologically active lipid that acts as both an agonist and as an intracellular second messenger. It is key to a number of important physiological processes including formation of blood vessels, migration of immune cells, vascular permeability etc. It is formed by sphingosine kinase-catalysed phosphorylation of sphingosine whereas S1P removal is either by dephosphorylation, which may involve lipid phosphate phosphatases, or cleavage by S1P lyase.

The overall aim of research in the laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which S1P affects cell function in health and disease.

We make use of molecular, biochemical, cellular biological techniques together with disease models and patient biopsy samples.

Recent research in this laboratory has received support from the British Heart Foundation, Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), Cancer Research UK (and WeCan), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Expressions of interest in joining the research activity of the lab are always welcome.

Teaching Activity: lectures, workshops and tutorials to undergraduates of the BSc, MSci  (both in various biological sciences) and MPharm (pharmacy) teaching programmes. Instruction of laboratory based research projects at both undergraduate and postgraduate (MSc, MRes, PhD) level.


The regulation of p53, p38 MAPK, JNK and XBP-1s by sphingosine kinases in human embryonic kidney cells
Alsanafi Mariam, Kelly Samuel L, McNaughton Melissa, Merrill Jr. Alfred H, Pyne Nigel J, Pyne Susan
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids Vol 1865 (2020)
Sphingosine kinases as druggable targets
Pyne Susan, Adams David R, Pyne Nigel J
Lipid Signaling in Human Diseases (2020) (2020)
Sphingosine kinase 1 regulates the survival of breast cancer stem cells and non-stem breast cancer cells by suppression of STAT1
Hii Ling-Wei, Chung Felicia Fei-Lei, Mai Chun Wai, Yee Zong Yang, Chan Hong Hao, Raja Vijay Joseph, Dephoure Noah Elias, Pyne Nigel J, Pyne Susan, Leong Chee-Onn
Cells Vol 9 (2020)
Short periods of hypoxia upregulate Sphingosine Kinase 1 and increase vasodilation of arteries to Sphingosine 1-Phosphate via S1P3
Alganga Husman, Almabrouk Tarek A M, Katwan Omar J, Daly Craig J, Pyne Susan, Pyne Nigel J, Kennedy Simon
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Vol 371, pp. 63-74 (2019)
Sphingosine 1-phosphate turnover (version 2019.4) in the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology Database
Pyne Nigel J, Pyne Susan
IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology CITE Vol 2019 (2019)
Ceramide and sphingosine 1-phosphate in adipose dysfunction
Fang Zijian, Pyne Susan, Pyne Nigel J
Progress in Lipid Research Vol 74, pp. 145-159 (2019)

More publications

Professional activities

Tenovus Scotland (External organisation)
Tenovus Scotland (West) (External organisation)
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (External organisation)
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (External organisation)
FASEB Lysophospholipids and Related Lipids in Biology and Diseases, Portugal
Invited speaker
FEBS Special Meeting in Sphingolipid Biology, Portugal
Invited speaker

More professional activities


STEM Equals (EPSRC Inclusion Matters)
MacGregor, Scott (Principal Investigator) Carter, Sara (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator) Renshaw, Joanna (Co-investigator) Rivers, Ian (Co-investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2021
Identification of pre-clinical SK1 inhibitors for the treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension
Pyne, Nigel (Principal Investigator) MacKay, Simon (Co-investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator)
26-Jan-2013 - 25-Jan-2014
The Role Of S1P4 And SK1 In Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Pyne, Nigel (Principal Investigator) Dufès, Christine (Co-investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator)
06-Jan-2013 - 05-Jan-2014
Sphingosine kinase 1 and pulmonary hypertension
Pyne, Nigel (Principal Investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2012 - 31-Jan-2015
The role of sphingosine 1-phosphate in colorectal cancer
Pyne, Susan (Principal Investigator) Pyne, Nigel (Co-investigator)
16-Jan-2011 - 31-Jan-2014
The role of S1P in HER2-dependent breast cancer
Pyne, Susan (Principal Investigator) Pyne, Nigel (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2008 - 31-Jan-2009

More projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Robertson Wing

Location Map

View University of Strathclyde in a larger map