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    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Research Statement


As a cancer biologist and principle investigator, my research interests focus on the role and function of proteases and anti-proteases in immunoregulation, specifically in a cancer setting. I am especially interested in how these enzymes may regulate tumour development, progression and immune cell function, particularly in respiratory-associated cancers, such as malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD).

In 2012, I completed my PhD at the School of Pharmacy in Queen’s University, Belfast (QUB). My project investigated the role of cysteine cathepsin S (CatS) in tumourigenesis. I undertook my post-doctoral training in the Centre of Infection and Immunity/Experimental Medicine at QUB, where I continued to investigate CatS in chronic lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. Also, I explored the role of serine protease inhibitors, such as elafin and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), in models of acute lung disease. In 2016, I secured a Medical Research Foundation (MRF) fellowship to decipher the role of SLPI in MPM. More specifically, this research aimed to elucidate how SLPI may be involved in CD4+ T cell responses in MPM.

In 2018, I started my own lab at the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at QUB. My lab continues to work on understanding how proteases and anti-proteases alter immune cells, particularly T-cells and macrophages, and to unravel the multifaceted immune mechanisms that permit these enzymes to manipulate the tumour microenvironment leading to tumour progression, metastasis and poor response to anti-cancer therapies.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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