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:

2012 - 2017 Director of Equality & Diversity/Athena SWAN lead

2019 - 2021 Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes


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.


Dihydroceramide desaturase functions as an inducer and rectifier of apoptosis : effect of retinol derivatives, antioxidants and phenolic compounds
Alsanafi Mariam, Brown Ryan D R, Oh Jeongah, Adams David R, Torta Federico, Pyne Nigel J, Pyne Susan
Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics (2021)
A new model for regulation of sphingosine kinase 1 translocation to the plasma membrane in breast cancer cells
Brown Ryan DR, Veerman Ben EP, Oh Jeongah, Tate Rothwelle J, Torta Federico, Cunningham Margaret R, Adams David R, Pyne Susan, Pyne Nigel J
Journal of Biological Chemistry (2021)
Validation of highly selective Sphingosine kinase 2 inhibitors SLM6031434 and HWG-35D as effective anti-fibrotic treatment options in a mouse model of tubulointerstitial fibrosis
Schwalm Stephanie, Beyer Sandra, Hafizi Redona, Traufmann Sandra, Geisslinger Gerd, Adams David R, Pyne Susan, Pyne Nigel, Schaefer Liliana, Huwiler Andrea, Pfeilschifter Josef
Cellular Signalling Vol 79 (2021)
Structure-function analysis of lipid substrates and inhibitors of sphingosine kinases
Adams David R, Pyne Susan, Pyne Nigel J
Cellular Signalling Vol 76 (2020)
Recent advances in the role of Sphingosine 1-phosphate in cancer
Pyne Nigel J, Pyne Susan
FEBS Letters Vol 594, pp. 3583-3601 (2020)
A novel selective sphingosine kinase 2 inhibitor, HWG-35D, ameliorates the severity of imiquimod-induced psoriasis model by blocking Th17 differentiation of naïve CD4 T lymphocytes
Shin Sun-Hye, Kim Hee-Yeon, Yoon Hee-Soo, Park Woo-Jae, Adams David R, Pyne Nigel J, Pyne Susan, Park Joo-Won
International Journal of Molecular Sciences Vol 21 (2020)

More publications

Professional activities

Tenovus Scotland (External organisation)
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (External organisation)
Tenovus Scotland (West) (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

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