• 01.02 Bio-Medical Research Centre (BMRC)

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Personal profile

Biography

Studied mouse mammary gland development, differentiation and cancer at the University of California Santa Cruz under Professor Charles Daniel. Attained PhD in 1993. Moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conduct postdoctoral research with Professor Richard Hynes studying leukocyte adhesion and rolling. Moved to the United Kingdom in 2000 to conduct postdoctoral research with Professor Kairbaan Hodivala-Dilke at Cancer Research UK studying the role of endothelial integrins in mediating tumour growth and angiogenesis. Started independent research career in 2011 as a Lecturer and Group Leader at UEA.

Career

  • June 2011 – present. Lecturer in Cell Signalling and Angiogenesis, University of East Anglia, School of Biological Sciences, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK.
  • 2000 – May 2011. Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Research UK, Cell Adhesion and Disease Lab, Centre of Tumour Biology, QMUL, Bart’s Institute of Cancer, London, UK.
  • 1993 - 2000. Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA. Under the tutelage of Dr Richard O Hynes.
  • 1987 - 1993. Graduate Student, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, USA. Under the tutelage of Dr Charles W Daniel.

External Activities

  • Member - British Association for Cancer Research
  • Member - The British Society for Cell Biology

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels form from those that already exist. It is essential for normal processes such as wound healing. An imbalance in the process is associated with ageing and with a multitude of human diseases, including cancer. Our research is aimed at determining how different cells and molecules contribute to angiogenesis under both normal and pathological situations.

Much of my research to date has focused on the role of alphaVbeta3-integrin in angiogenesis. My work as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Kairbaan Hodivala-Dilke contributed to the seminal findings that alphaVbeta3-integrin can act as a negative regulator of pathological angiogenesis (L.R. Reynolds et al., Nature Medicine 2002) and that low doses of alphaVbeta3-integrin inhibitors can up-regulate angiogenesis (A. Reynolds et al., Nature Medicine, 2009). Recently I showed also that alphaVbeta3-integrin regulates Neuropilin-1 (NRP1)’s function in angiogenesis (S.D. Robinson et al., Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2009).


Current Research Projects

My immediate goal, as I establish my own research group at UEA, is to determine whether we can exploit these latter findings to improve on existing angiogenic therapies.

I am using a number of endothelial- and pericyte-specific mouse knockouts in models of normal and abnormal angiogenesis to determine how alphaVbeta3-integrin and NRP1 expression regulates the angiogenic behavior of these two key cell-types. I also perform ex vivo and in vitro angiogenic assays on tissues and cells isolated from these knockout mice to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying any in vivo phenotypes uncovered.


My long-term goal is to discover novel therapeutic vascular targets that can be used to modulate angiogenesis during ageing and to control disease.


PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Postdocs and Fellows

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations. Possible funding routes include applying for fellowships, e.g. Royal Society, Breast Cancer Campaign, Cancer Research UK and others, or grant applications with you as a named postdoc.

Specialisms

Angiogenesis; cancer; endothelial cell biology; blood vessels; integrins; cell adhesion.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

visit us at:  www.therobinsonlab.co.uk

Teaching Interests

  • 3C27 (Cancer Biology)
  • M201 (Frontiers in Molecular Medicine)

Network

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