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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)


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.


Does the sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor-1 provide a better or worse prognostic outcome for breast cancer patients?
Pyne Nigel J., Pyne Susan
Frontiers in Oncology Vol 8, pp. 1-3, (2018)
Native and polyubiquitinated forms of dihydroceramide desaturase are differentially linked to human embryonic kidney cell survival
Alsanafi Mariam, Kelly Samuel L., Jubair Karawan, McNaughton Melissa, Tate Rothwelle J., Merrill Jr. Alfred H., Pyne Susan, Pyne Nigel J
Molecular and Cellular Biology, (2018)
The sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 2 is shed in exosomes from breast cancer cells and is N-terminally processed to a short constitutively active form that promotes extracellular signal regulated kinase activation and DNA synthesis in fibroblasts
El Buri Ashref, Adams David R., Smith Douglas, Tate Rothwelle J., Mullin Margaret, Pyne Susan, Pyne Nigel J.
Oncotarget Vol 9, pp. 29453-29467, (2018)
Sphingosine 1-phosphate and cancer
Pyne Nigel J., El Buri Ashref, Adams David R., Pyne Susan
Advances in Biological Regulation Vol 68, pp. 97-106, (2018)
Sphingosine kinase1 : a potential therapeutic target in pulmonary arterial hypertension?
Pyne Nigel J., Pyne Susan
Trends in Molecular Medicine Vol 23, pp. 786-798, (2017)
Sphingosine kinase 2 in autoimmune/inflammatory disease and development of sphingosine kinase 2 inhibitors
Pyne Nigel J., Adams David R., Pyne Susan
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences Vol 38, pp. 581-591, (2017)

more publications

Professional activities

The Carnegie Trust (External organisation)
Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research (External organisation)
Tenovus Scotland (West) (External organisation)
FASEB Lysophospholipids and Related Lipids in Biology and Diseases
Cellular Signalling (Journal)
International Ceramide Conference, New York

more professional activities


The role of sphingosine 1-phosphate in colorectal cancer
Pyne, Susan (Principal Investigator) Pyne, Nigel (Co-investigator)
Period 16-May-2011 - 31-Jul-2014
The Role Of S1P4 And SK1 In Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Pyne, Nigel (Principal Investigator) Dufes, Christine (Co-investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator)
Period 06-Feb-2013 - 05-Feb-2014
Novel signalling by nuclear LPA receptors
Pyne, Nigel (Principal Investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator)
Period 01-May-2006 - 30-Apr-2009
Identification of pre-clinical SK1 inhibitors for the treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension
Pyne, Nigel (Principal Investigator) MacKay, Simon (Co-investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator)
Period 26-Oct-2013 - 25-Oct-2014
Quantitative analysis of the regulation of gene expression, changes in posttranslational protein modifications and protein:protein interactions
Lawrence, Catherine (Co-investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator) Pyne, Nigel (Co-investigator) Roberts, Craig (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Mar-2003 - 28-Feb-2008
Sphingosine kinase 1 and pulmonary hypertension
Pyne, Nigel (Principal Investigator) Pyne, Susan (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Sep-2012 - 31-Aug-2015

more projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Robertson Wing

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