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)
SIPBS Roles & Responsibilities:
Director of Equality & Diversity; Athena SWAN lead
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.