I completed my DPhil in Clinical Pharmacology from the Department of Oncology, University of Oxford, where the focus of my thesis was the production and testing of cancer vaccines based on different viral vectors. During the course of my research, I became interested in cancer immunology and the tumour microenvironment.
My first postdoctoral project was undertaken with Professor Alison Banham (NDCLS/RDM) where I investigated the targets of transcription factor FOXP1 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). In patients with DLBCL, FOXP1 can be used as a marker for poor prognosis, and may play a role in downregulating immune surveillance in tumours. I used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to knockout FOXP1 expression in a murine lymphoma cell line, and subsequently conducted tumour studies in vivo and carried out RNA-Seq to examine differential gene expression between parental and FOXP1-knockout cells.
In 2017 I joined Dr Gillian Farnie’s group at the Botnar Research Centre, where my research focus will be on the investigation of novel protein families, such as YEATS and Nudix in cancer. I aim to elucidate the functions and effects of these proteins on downstream pathways through CRISPR/Cas9 knockouts and next generation sequencing, thereby identifying new interaction partners and therapeutic targets. I will also be developing novel cellular assays in order to validate the cellular activity of chemical probes generated by groups in the Structural Genomics Consortium.
Discovery of an MLLT1/3 YEATS Domain Chemical Probe.
Moustakim M. et al, (2018), Angew chem int ed engl
N-terminally truncated FOXP1 protein expression and alternate internal FOXP1 promoter usage in normal and malignant B cells.
Brown PJ. et al, (2016), Haematologica, 101, 861 - 871
FOXP1 suppresses immune response signatures and MHC class II expression in activated B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.
Brown PJ. et al, (2016), Leukemia, 30, 605 - 616
Recombinant viral vaccines for cancer
Cawood R. et al, (2012), Trends in Molecular Medicine, 18, 564 - 574
MicroRNA controlled adenovirus mediates anti-cancer efficacy without affecting endogenous microRNA activity.
Cawood R. et al, (2011), PloS one, 6