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THE TEAM

#teamscience

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PROF STEPHEN TAYLOR

Leech Professor of Pharmacology and
Head of Division of Cancer Sciences

Stephen was first funded in Manchester by a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship, then CRUK Senior Research Fellowships in 2004 and in 2009, when he became Professor of Cell Biology. In 2015, Stephen was awarded the Leech Chair of Pharmacology and in 2016 a CRUK Programme Award. A 2016 move to the Manchester Cancer Research Centre led to collaborations with CRUK’s Manchester Drug Discovery Unit and clinicians at The Christie Hospital. This has now enabled the lab to combine high-quality basic science with translational science and drug discovery in the context of ovarian cancer.

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ANTHONY TIGHE

Research Fellow

Anthony has been a member of the Taylor lab team since 1999 and has made major contributions to the lab’s research on mitosis and the cell cycle. He has extensive expertise in the characterisation of small-molecule inhibitors and in the use of microscopy approaches to study mitosis and chromosome instability. He is currently using patient-derived HGSOC ex vivo cultures to evaluate paclitaxel sensitivity

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LOUISA NELSON

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Having been a member of the Taylor lab for over 10 years, Louisa leads the ovarian cancer pipeline and is responsible for characterising ex vivo cultures from this pipeline. Louisa’s current work also involves generation of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data sets from the ex vivo cultures.

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SAMANTHA LITTLER

Research Assistant

In addition to managing her own research projects, Sam has had an underpinning role supporting research in the Taylor lab since 2014. Her key research interest has been the role of Myc in modulating mitosis and more recently in researching synthetic lethal approaches to target ovarian cancers with Myc overexpression.

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JAMES ALTRINGHAM

Research Technician

James joined the Taylor team in April 2023. He now leads the generation of new ex vivo cultures from the ovarian cancer pipeline and manages the database of all samples and cultures in the Living Biobank. As well as maintaining and characterising the biobank, James provides technical support to other team members utilising the ex vivo cultures. 

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CAMILLA COULSON-GILMER

Research Fellow

Since joining the Taylor lab in 2018, Camilla’s main research interest has been in understanding the mechanism of PARG inhibitor sensitivity, which she has demonstrated to be associated with DNA replication stress in multiple ovarian cancer cell lines and patient-derived models. She is now interested in the role DNA replication stress plays in ovarian cancer evolution and how this links to drug sensitivity.

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BETHANY BARNES

Research Fellow

Beth is the Taylor lab’s resident bioinformatics specialist, who joined the team in 2020. She has a strong interest in machine learning and has applied this to transcriptional profiles defined by non-negative matrix factorisation to create a subtype classifier that can distinguish the five histological subtypes of ovarian cancer. She is now interested in using single-cell-based omics analyses in understanding chromosome instability. Beth also supports the team in transcriptomics analyses to identify signatures associated with drug sensitivity.

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JEAN LING TAN

MB-PhD Student

Jean is an MB-PhD student, which is a dual degree programme that combines a medical degree (MBChB) with a PhD. She started her PhD in 2022 after completing the first three years of her medical degree. She is exploring potential ways to reverse chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer with a focus on pro-survival protein family members and paclitaxel sensitivity.

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ALICIA EVANS

PhD Student

Alicia started her PhD in the Taylor Lab in September 2023 with a strong interest in bioinformatics. She is using these skills to characterise longitudinal ex vivo cultures – generated using samples from the same patient with ovarian cancer at various points in their treatment journey. She will analyse their karyotypes, genomes, methylomes, transcriptomes, and proteomes to understand disease evolution and development of drug resistance.

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LAURA BLOXHAM

PhD Student

Laura started her PhD in the Taylor Lab in September 2023. She aims to research activation of the cGAS-STING pathway in cells with ongoing chromosome instability (CIN), which is characteristic of ovarian cancer. She will also explore the potential of exploiting the cGAS-STING pathway to target CIN-high cancer cells.

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ROBERT MORGAN

NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer

Rob is a Specialty Medical Oncology Registrar and a post-doctoral researcher in the Taylor lab. His key research interest is understanding ovarian cancer response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. Rob helped set up and maintain the ovarian cancer pipeline with the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and he also supports other lab members in providing clinical context and interpreting clinical data.

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MALINI DEY

PhD Student

Malini started her PhD in the Taylor Lab in September 2019. She aims to research the role of PARG in DNA replication and the DNA damage response. To do this she is undertaking mechanistic studies using model systems, focussing on DNA replication proteins with a synthetic lethal interaction with PARG inhibition.

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JO MCGRAIL

Project Manager

Jo joined the lab in 2020 having spent almost 10 years as a writer in Medical Communications, during which time she developed a strong interest in drug development in oncology. She helps the lab with multiple aspects of project management and document writing, including grant applications and publications.

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