University Research Lecturer and Cellular Assays Group Leader
Gillian Farnie studied pharmacology at the University of Liverpool (UK) and did her PhD in molecular oncology at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2002). She then had 6 years postdoctoral training in breast biology and breast cancer, developing novel 3D culture systems to grow human ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and investigating epidermal growth factor and Notch signalling. During collaborations with Dr Rob Clarke she became interested in cancer stem cell (CSC) signalling and was awarded an esteemed 5-year Breast Cancer Now Scientific Fellowship (2008) to start her research group.
Based at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre her research focused on the role of breast CSCs in the resistance to radio and chemotherapy, exploring FAK and Wnt signalling as well as metabolic and epigenetic targets. Aligned with these studies her lab is also developing bespoke hydrogel models of breast progression in collaboration with Dr Cathy Merry and Prof Tony Howell.
The Cell Biology group will innovate and develop assays to validate in-cell efficacy of established and new probe families which include bromodomains, Nudix hydrolases, deaminase and DENN domains. Each assay will be developed to address the unique biology of the target using molecular biology (inc CRISPR, RNAseq, ChIP, Mass Spectrocopy) and confocal microscopy (HTS/HCS). Further detailed investigations into the biological mechanism and disease target will be carried out both in-house and with academic and pharmaceutical industry collaborations. By advancing SGC probes into cellular assays we aim to produce pre-clinical in vitro data to enable the translation of SGC probes into a disease area within the clinic.
Gillian’s research interests include disease heterogeneity, multicellular and 3D disease models.
Ling Felce (Postdoctoral Research Assistant) - The role of of the YEATS family
Vickie Gamble (Research Assistant) - SGC cellular assays project
Carina Gileadi (Research Assistant) - SGC cellular assays project
Nadia Halidi ((Postdoctoral Research Assistant) - Developing multicellular and 3D disease models
Jenny Ashworth (Postdoctoral Research Assistant) - NC3Rs project - Bespoke human 3D breast models
Simon Timbrell (MD Student) - The role of Focal Adhesion Kinase in Invasive breast cancer and the tumour microenvironment
Liz Brown (DPhil Student) - The role of ACVR1 in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)
Dr Cathy Merry (University of Nottingham)
Prof Tony Howell (University of Manchester)
Miss Cliona Kirwan (University of Manchester)
Prof Louise Jones (Queen Marys University London)
Prof Udo Oppermann (University of Oxford)
Dr Sacha Howell (University of Manchester)
Patient-derived Mammosphere and Xenograft Tumour Initiation Correlates with Progression to Metastasis.
Eyre R. et al, (2016), J mammary gland biol neoplasia, 21, 99 - 109
High mitochondrial mass identifies a sub-population of stem-like cancer cells that are chemo-resistant.
Farnie G. et al, (2015), Oncotarget, 6, 30472 - 30486
Focal adhesion kinase and Wnt signaling regulate human ductal carcinoma in situ stem cell activity and response to radiotherapy.
Williams KE. et al, (2015), Stem cells, 33, 327 - 341
Novel cell culture technique for primary ductal carcinoma in situ: role of Notch and epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathways.
Farnie G. et al, (2007), J natl cancer inst, 99, 616 - 627
Three-dimensional modelling identifies novel genetic dependencies associated with breast cancer progression in the isogenic MCF10 model.
Maguire SL. et al, (2016), J pathol, 240, 315 - 328
Microenvironmental IL1β promotes breast cancer metastatic colonisation in the bone via activation of Wnt signalling
eyres R. et al, (2019), Nature communications
A Chemical Probe for Tudor Domain Protein Spindlin1 to Investigate Chromatin Function.
Fagan V. et al, (2019), J med chem
Discovery of a Potent and Selective Fragment-like Inhibitor of Methyllysine Reader Protein Spindlin 1 (SPIN1).
Xiong Y. et al, (2019), J med chem
Discovery of a Selective Inhibitor for the YEATS Domains of ENL/AF9.
Christott T. et al, (2019), Slas discov, 24, 133 - 141
Discovery of an MLLT1/3 YEATS Domain Chemical Probe.
Moustakim M. et al, (2018), Angew chem int ed engl, 57, 16302 - 16307