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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to PhD applications in the fields of protease biology and inhibitor development (small molecule and biological inhibitors).

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Personal profile

Research Statement

Dr Burden began her scientific career by achieving a BSc (Hons) 2.1 degree in Biochemistry at Queen’s University Belfast in 2002. Following this she undertook a Masters degree in Medical Sciences within the Department of Haematology at the university, where her research was focused on delineating a molecular signature in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. In 2003, Dr Burden transferred to the School of Pharmacy when she was awarded a DEL CAST award to commence her PhD studies in the area of protease biochemistry. This work was focused on the development of novel inhibition strategies for targeting the cysteine cathepsin family of proteases. During this time, Dr Burden developed and characterized several biologic-based inhibitors (recombinant protein and antibodies) that resulted in a number of patent applications and publications.

Upon completion of her PhD, Dr Burden embarked upon her postdoctoral career in 2007 when she was appointed as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate in a collaboration between the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and Fusion Antibodies Ltd. This project was focused on the further development of the therapeutics that had been developed during her PhD studies in a number of tumour models and the identification of novel therapeutic targets in lung carcinomas that could also be amenable to antibody based targeting. Within Fusion Antibodies, Dr Burden was promoted to Team Leader within the R&D department and was responsible for liaising with the company directors and investors, giving regular updates on the scientific research that was being undertaken within the company.

After her time in industry, Dr Burden returned to academic research to undertake postdoctoral positions in the Drug Discovery research group within the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and the Molecular Therapeutics Research cluster within the School of Pharmacy. Her research in the Drug Discovery group was focused on characterizing novel targets for breast cancer treatment, whilst in the School of Pharmacy she undertook a MRC-funded postdoctoral position focused on the molecular and pharmacological evaluation of Cathepsin S as a target for disease treatment.

In June 2012, Dr Burden was appointed as a Lecturer in Pharmacology in the Molecular Therapeutics research cluster within the School of Pharmacy. Her research interest is primarily centered around the cellular microenvironment (in both health and disease) and regulatory mechanisms mediated by proteases and chemokines. Currently, Dr Burden’s work is focused on ageing and inflammatory maladies such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and fibrosis.

Research Interests

  • Microenvironment
  • Inflammation
  • Ageing
  • Tumourigenesis
  • Fibrosis
  • Proteases
  • Therapeutics
  • Angiogenesis
  • Chemokines
  • Senescence


  • PMY1014: Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Skills
  • PMY2002: Medicinal Substances: Structure and Function
  • PMY2104: The Pharmacological basis of Therapeutics
  • PMY2105: Clinical Therapeutics 1
  • PMY3082: Applied Pharmaceutical Analysis and Drug Design
  • PMY3174: Clinical Therapeutics 2

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Roberta Burden is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 7 Similar Profiles
cathepsin S Medicine & Life Sciences
Cathepsins Medicine & Life Sciences
asparaginylendopeptidase Medicine & Life Sciences
Cysteine Proteases Medicine & Life Sciences
Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
Peptide Hydrolases Medicine & Life Sciences
Tumors Chemical Compounds
Cathepsin L Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 2003 2019

54 Downloads (Pure)

A Novel Role for Cathepsin S as a Potential Biomarker in Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Wilkinson, R., Burden, R., McDowell, S., McArt, D., McQuaid, S., Bingham, V., Williams, R., Cox, O., O'Connor, R., McCabe, N., Kennedy, R., Buckley, N. E. & Scott, C., 28 Jun 2019, In : Journal of Oncology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
cathepsin S
Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms
DNA Repair

Identification and SAR exploration of a novel series of Legumain inhibitors

Eddie, S. L., Gregson, A., Graham, E., Burton, S., Harrison, T., Burden, R., Scott, C. J., Mullan, P. B. & Williams, R., 15 Jun 2019, In : Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 29, 12, p. 1546-1548 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Caspase 3
3 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
skin (animal)
Fusion reactions
100 Downloads (Pure)

USP17 is required for trafficking and oncogenic signaling of mutant EGFR in NSCLC cells

McCann, A. P., Smyth, P., Cogo, F., McDaid, W. J., Jiang, L., Lin, J., Evergren, E., Burden, R. E., Van Schaeybroeck, S., Scott, C. J. & Burrows, J. F., 08 Nov 2018, In : Cell communication and signaling : CCS. 16, 1, p. 77

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
Chemical activation