Dmitry Pshezhetskiy


  • 2.53 Bob Champion Research & Education Bldg

Personal profile


Prof Pshezhetskiy has received an MSc (summa cum laude) from Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2000. He has completed his PhD in Moscow State/Montreal Universities in 2003 and has carried out post-doctoral research in Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse (2003-2005) and CNRS Institute of Structural Biology and Pharmacology, Toulouse (2005-2006). During this period, he also worked as a visiting scientist at McGill University, Canada. In 2006 Prof Pshezhetskiy joined Imperial College London as a Research Fellow/Head of the Tumour Microenvironment and Chemotherapy group.  Since April 2012 he has held an Honorary Senior Lectureship at the Norwich Medical School, UEA. His current research interests include the molecular mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis, inflammatory response, cancer biomarkers and novel targeted therapies.

Prof Pshezhetskiy is involved in teaching and supervision. He acts as a lecturer for several programmes in biology and cancer and has supervised many MSc, MRes and PhD projects.  He acts as a PhD thesis examiner at Imperial College London and University of Kent and is a narrator and question reviewer for Imperial College/Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore.   

Prof Pshezhetskiy is an associate editor and a member of editorial board for several journals including American Journal of Cancer Research. He acts as a reviewer for many international scientific journals (JCO, Oncogene, etc), trusts (such as Wellcome trust) and research councils (such as MRC).

Prof Pshezhetskiy is a recipient of many prizes and awards including: EACR Mike Price young scientist award 2005, Wellcome Trust Value in People award 2011, BACR AstraZeneca Young Scientist Frank Rose Award and Lecture at NCRI 2011, Japanese Society for Promoting Science invitation fellowship, 2012, Foulkes fellowship for excellence in academic medicine 2012-2015, Berkeley Research Fellowship, UCL 2016, and University of East Anglia, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Innovation prize, 2018.

Key Research Interests

Dmirty’s research is focused on the identification of molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer chemoresistance and metastasis and finding novel therapies to treat the disease. The team are focused on a tumour-promoting protein called sphingosine kinase-1 or SK1. Prostate cancer cells have more SK1 than normal prostate cells, which allows cancer cells to grow faster and move faster. SK1 also helps cancer cells protect themselves against current treatments. Unfortunately, it is not understood how SK1 has these effects in prostate cancer cells. However, the team recently found that SK1 acts as a sensor to therapy in prostate cancer.

The success of a therapy was dependent on its ability to switch SK1 off. The introduction of specific drugs that target SK1 was found to enhance the effects of standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Furthermore, in recent findings the group have revealed a set of SK1-regulated proteins present in the plasma of patients that allows for improved early detection of prostate cancer. The groups work will help to identify and develop new drugs that may provide benefit for prostate cancer patients by improving survival in men with recurrent prostate cancer and bringing a decisive change to the way we treat prostate cancer in the future.


Current projects include:

The investigation of SK1 functions in prostate cancer cells The development of a targeted nanoparticle system for multi-component drug delivery to provide a new chemotherapetic modality for patients with hormone refractory/chemoresistant prostate cancer (collaboration with Colin Cooper).


There are potential PhD projects available, for inquiries please mail


Selected Publications

1.     Alshaker H, Srivats S, Monteil D, Wang Q, Low CMR, Pchejetski D. Field template-based design and biological evaluation of new sphingosine kinase 1 inhibitors. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018 Jul 24.

2.     Wang Q, Alshaker H, Böhler T, Srivats S, Chao Y, Cooper C, Pchejetski D. Core shell lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles with combined docetaxel and molecular targeted therapy for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. Sci Rep. 2017

3.     Alshaker H, Wang Q, Srivats S, Chao Y, Cooper C, Pchejetski D. New FTY720-Docetaxel nanoparticle therapy overcomes FTY720-induced lymphopenia and inhibits metastatic breast tumour growth. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017

4.     Alshaker H, Wang Q, Böhler T, Mills R, Winkler M, Arafat T, Kawano Y, Pchejetski D. Combination of RAD001 (everolimus) and docetaxel reduces prostate and breast cancer cell VEGF production and tumour vascularisation independently of sphingosine-kinase-1. Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 14;7(1):3493

5.     Alshaker H, Wang Q, Kawano Y, Arafat T, Böhler T, Winkler M, Cooper C, Pchejetski D. Everolimus (RAD001) sensitizes prostate cancer cells to docetaxel by down-regulation of HIF-1α and sphingosine kinase 1. Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 4.

6.     Alshaker H, Wang Q, Krell J, Frampton A, Waxman J, Winkler M, Stebbing J, Cooper C, Yagüe E, Pchejetski D. Sphingosine kinase 1 contributes to leptin-induced STAT3 phosphorylation through IL-6/gp130 transactivation in oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Jan;149(1):59-67

7.     Alshaker H, Krell J, Frampton A, Waxman J, Blyuss O, Zaikin A, Winkler M, Stebbing J, Yagüe E, Pchejetski D. Leptin-induced upregulation of oncogenic sphingosine kinase 1: a new pathway regulating obesity driven ER-negative breast cancer. 2014 Breast Cancer Res. 2014 Oct 25;16(5):426

8.     Pchejetski D, Böhler T, Stebbing J, WaxmanJ. Therapeutic potential of targeting sphingosine kinase 1 in prostate cancer. Nat Rev Urol. 2011 Sep 13;8(10):569-678.

9.     Pchejetski D, Foussal C, Alfarano C, Calise D, Guilbeau-Frugier C, Seguelas MH, Valet P, Parini A, Kunduzova O. Apelin prevents cardiac fibroblast activation and collagen production through inhibition of sphingosine kinase 1. Eur Heart J. 2011 Oct 25.

10. Pchejetski D, Bohler T, Sauer L, Brizuela L, Doumerc N, Golzio M, Salunkhe V, Teissié J, Malavaud B, Waxman J and Cuvillier O. FTY720 (Fingolimod) sensitizes prostate cancer cells to radiotherapy by inhibition of sphingosine kinase-1. Cancer Res, 2010, Nov 1;70(21):8651-61


Current Fundings

 FCT   Petra University   Leonardo Da Vinci   British Society of Antimicrobial Therapy  University of Malaysia/Imperial College   Prostate Action   PCUK   Sasakawa foundation


  • University of East Anglia, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Innovation prize, 2018
  • Best Research Presentation award, James Paget Club meeting, 2016
  • Berkeley Research Fellowship, UCL 2016
  • Imperial College Surgical Society Research prize, 2014
  • Imperial College Medical School Research prize, 2012
  • Foulkes fellowship for excellence in academic medicine, 2012-2015
  • Japanese Society for Promoting Science invitation fellowship, 2012 
  • Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation Medical Research award, 2011
  • BACR AstraZeneca Young Scientist Frank Rose Award and Lecture at NCRI, 2011
  • Wellcome Trust Value in People award, 2011
  • Finalist of Medimmune abstract competition, 2009
  • EACR Mike Price young scientist award, 2005
  • 1st prize for the oral presentation, DIWOL congress, 2005
  • “Best presentation” award, Forum of Young Scientists of the 29th FEBS congress, 2004
  • M.Sc. Summa Cum Laude, 2000

Editorial positions  

  • American Journal of Cancer Research - Associate Editor 
  • Journal of Cancer, Therapeutics and Research - Associate Editor 
  • Oncology Discovery - Editorial Board Member  
  • World Journal of Methodology -Editorial Board Member 
  • New Journal of Science - Editorial Board Member

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

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Imperial College London

Award Date: 20 Jun 2015

Doctor of Philosophy, Moscow State University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2004

Master of Science, Moscow State University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000


  • Cancer Studies
  • Breast and prostate cancer
  • inflammatory response
  • tumour microenvironment
  • chemotherapy
  • diagnostic markers
  • nanoparticles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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