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Senior Lecturer in Clinical Therapeutics

After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry and MSc in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, I initially worked for the Forensic Science Service researching new DNA fingerprinting technologies.

I then moved to University of Sheffield and worked in the Molecular Genetics facility to continue research into DNA sequencing. I then moved to Newcastle University where I studied for my PhD in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the Medical School. My thesis examined proteins implicated in mechanisms that lead to the spread of prostate cancer to bones. After my PhD, I held post-doctoral and then senior post-doctoral positions at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research. These roles studied molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and novel anti-cancer drug development. 

I joined University of Sunderland in 2015 as a Senior Lecturer and currently lecture across multiple courses including Pharmacy, Medicine, and Biochemistry.

My current research interests focus on understanding the genes and intracellular signalling networks involved in cancer development and progression.

Teaching and supervision

I currently teach Medicine, MPharm, Biopharmaceutical Sciences, and Biomedical Sciences.

Module Leader:
PHAM02 – Advanced Therapeutics
BPS320 – Cancer Targets and Therapeutics

Module Lecturer:
BPS216 – Cellular and Clinical Biochemistry
PHA112 – Healthy Patient: Principles of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology
PHA223 – Integrated Therapeutics, Endocrine, GU and MSK systems
PHA332 – Disease Systems: Endocrine and Genito-Urinary Systems

Research interests for potential research students

  • Novel drug target identification/validation
  • Aberrant growth factor signalling in cancer
  • Molecular pathology of cancer
  • Post-translational modification of proteins
  • Identification of novel binding proteins in molecular complexes


My research has several themes. In conjunction with collaborators at Newcastle Medical School, we examine aberrant intracellular signalling cascades involved in the progression of cancer. This is facilitated by cutting-edge molecular biology techniques to turn on/off novel biomarkers and target genes in cancer cell lines to determine phenotypic effects on pathway modulation.

Also, in conjunction with colleagues in the School of Pharmacy, we are developing and subsequently studying the effects of novel drug compounds that target key regulators of cancer progression.

Finally, we are studying the impact of key genes at a bioinformatic level, mining vast clinical databases for patterns of gene signatures involved in cancer development and progression.


Number of items: 23.


Elsana, Hassan, Olusanya, Temidayo O. B., Carr-Wilkinson, Jane, Darby, Steven, Faheem, Ahmed and Elkordy, Amal (2019) Evaluation of novel cationic gene based liposomes with cyclodextrin prepared by thin film hydration and microfluidic systems. Scientific Reports, 9 (15120).

McClurg, U, Cork, DM, Darby, Steven, Ryan-Munden, CA, Nakjang, S, Mendes-Côrtes, L, Treumann, A, Gaughan, L and Robson, CN (2016) Identification of a novel K311 ubiquitination site critical for androgen receptor transcriptional activity. Nucleic Acids Research, 45 (4). pp. 1793-1804. ISSN 0305-1048

Rodriguez-Teja, m, Gronau, JH, Breit, C, Zhang, YZ, Minamidate, A, Caley, MP, McCarthy, A, Cox, TR, Erler, JT, Gaughan, L, Darby, Steven, Robson, CN, Mauri, F, Waxman, J and Sturge, J (2015) AGE-modified basement membrane cooperates with Endo180 to promote epithelial cell invasiveness and decrease prostate cancer survival. Journal of Pathology, 235 (4). pp. 581-592. ISSN 1096-9896

Rodriguez-Teja, M., Gronau, J. H., Minamidate, A., Darby, Steven, Gaughan, L., Robson, C., Mauri, F., Waxman, J. and Sturge, J. (2015) Survival Outcome and EMT Suppression Mediated by a Lectin Domain Interaction of Endo180 and CD147. Molecular Cancer Research, 13 (3). pp. 538-547. ISSN 1541-7786

Burska, U. L., Harle, V. J., Coffey, K., Darby, Steven, Ramsey, H., O'Neill, D., Logan, I. R., Gaughan, L. and Robson, C. N. (2013) Deubiquitinating Enzyme Usp12 Is a Novel Co-activator of the Androgen Receptor. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 288 (45). pp. 32641-32650. ISSN 0021-9258

Coffey, K., Rogerson, L., Ryan-Munden, C., Alkharaif, D., Stockley, J., Heer, R., Sahadevan, K., O'Neill, D., Jones, D., Darby, Steven, Staller, P., Mantilla, A., Gaughan, L. and Robson, C. N. (2013) The lysine demethylase, KDM4B, is a key molecule in androgen receptor signalling and turnover. Nucleic Acids Research, 41 (8). pp. 4433-4446. ISSN 0305-1048

Valencia, Tania, Joseph, Ajay, Kachroo, Naveen, Darby, Steven, Meakin, Susan and Gnanapragasam, Vincent J (2011) Role and expression of FRS2 and FRS3 in prostate cancer. BMC Cancer, 11 (1). ISSN 1471-2407

Dafou, D, Grun, B, Sinclair, J, Lawrenson, K, Benjamin, EC, Hogdall, E, Kruger-Kjaer, S, Christensen, L, Sowter, HM, Al-Attar, A, Edmondson, R, Darby, Steven, Berchuck, A, Laird, PW, Pearce, CL, Ramus, SJ, Jacobs, IJ and Gayther, SA (2010) Microcell-Mediated Chromosome Transfer Identifies EPB41L3 as a Functional Suppressor of Epithelial Ovarian Cancers. Neoplasia, 12 (7). pp. 579-589. ISSN 1522-8002

Darby, Steven, Murphy, T, Thomas, H, Robson, C N, Leung, H Y, Mathers, M E and Gnanapragasam, V J (2009) Similar expression to FGF (Sef) inhibits fibroblast growth factor-induced tumourigenic behaviour in prostate cancer cells and is downregulated in aggressive clinical disease. British Journal of Cancer, 101 (11). pp. 1891-1899. ISSN 0007-0920

Murphy, Tania, Darby, Steven, Mathers, Marie E and Gnanapragasam, Vincent J (2009) Evidence for distinct alterations in the FGF axis in prostate cancer progression to an aggressive clinical phenotype. The Journal of Pathology, 220 (4). pp. 452-460. ISSN 00223417

Wright, pk, May, FEB, Darby, Steven, Saif, R, Lennard, TW and Westley, BR (2009) Estrogen Regulates Vesicle Trafficking Gene Expression in EFF-3, EFM-19 and MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology, 2 (5). pp. 463-475. ISSN 1936-2625

Darby, Steven, Murphy, T., Hori, S., Mathers, M., Robson, C. and Gnanapragasam, V.J. (2009) 505 Expression of the Endogenous Signaling Regulator SEF is Predictive of Prostate Cancer Behavior and Alters the Cell Response to Targeted Inhibition of FGF Receptors. European Urology Supplements, 8 (4). p. 247. ISSN 15699056

Wilkinson, S.J., Kucukmetin, A., Cross, P., Darby, Steven, Gnanapragasam, V.J., Calvert, A.H., Robson, C.N. and Edmondson, R.J. (2008) Expression of gonadotrophin releasing hormone receptor I is a favorable prognostic factor in epithelial ovarian cancer. Human Pathology, 39 (8). pp. 1197-1204. ISSN 00468177

Rogerson, Lynsey, Darby, Steven, Jabbar, Talal, Mathers, Marie E., Leung, Hing Y., Robson, Craig N., Sahadevan, Kanagasabai, OToole, Kieran and Gnanapragasam, Vincent J. (2008) Application of transcript profiling in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded diagnostic prostate cancer needle biopsies. BJU International, 102 (3). pp. 364-370. ISSN 1464-4096

Darby, Steven, Robson, C., Leung, H. and Gnanapragasam, V.J. (2008) The SEF Long Isoform A is a Key Inhibitor of FGF Induced Tumourigenic Behaviour Through Inhibition of Multiple Signalling Pathways in Prostate Cancer. European Urology Supplements, 7 (3). p. 173. ISSN 15699056

Darby, Steven, Cross, SS, Brown, NJ, Hamdy, FC and Robson, CN (2007) BMP-6 over-expression in prostate cancer is associated with increased Id-1 protein and a more invasive phenotype. The Journal of Pathology, 214 (3). pp. 394-404. ISSN 00223417

Darby, Steven, Stockley, J, Khan, M M, Robson, C N, Leung, H Y and Gnanapragasam, V J (2007) Expression of GnRH type II is regulated by the androgen receptor in prostate cancer. Endocrine Related Cancer, 14 (3). pp. 613-624. ISSN 1351-0088

Sahadevan, K, Darby, Steven, Leung, HY, Mathers, ME, Robson, CN and Gnanapragasam, VJ (2007) Selective over-expression of fibroblast growth factor receptors 1 and 4 in clinical prostate cancer. The Journal of Pathology, 213 (1). pp. 82-90. ISSN 00223417

Darby, Steven, Sahadevan, K, Khan, M M, Robson, C N, Leung, H Y and Gnanapragasam, V J (2006) Loss of Sef (similar expression to FGF) expression is associated with high grade and metastatic prostate cancer. Oncogene, 25 (29). pp. 4122-4127. ISSN 0950-9232

Gnanapragasam, VJ, Darby, Steven, Khan, M M, Lock, WG, Robson, CN and Leung, HY (2005) Evidence that prostate gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptors mediate an anti-tumourigenic response to analogue therapy in hormone refractory prostate cancer. The Journal of Pathology, 206 (2). pp. 205-213. ISSN 0022-3417

Dawson, Deborah A., Darby, Steven, Hunter, Fiona M., Krupa, Andrew P., Jones, Ian L. and Burke, Terry (2001) A critique of avian CHD-based molecular sexing protocols illustrated by a Z-chromosome polymorphism detected in auklets. Molecular Ecology Notes, 1 (3). pp. 201-204. ISSN 14718278

Conference or Workshop Item

Darby, Steven, Ramsey, H, Gaughan, L and Robson, CN (2011) Abstract 4053: The role of ubiquitination in androgen receptor function in prostate cancer. In: AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, 2-6 Apr 2011, Orlando, Florida, USA.

Rogers, Alistair G, Miles, Amanda, McCulloch, Thomas, Powe, Des, Walton, Thomas, Grabowska, Anna, Watson, Sue, Darby, Steven, Robson, Craig, Cole, Owen, Bishop, Michael and Rees, Robert (2009) Characterisation of Prostate Tumour Associated Antigen T21 Suggests a Role in Prostate Cancer Cellular Proliferation. In: AUA Annual Meeting Program, 14-19 May 2011, Washington DC, USA.

This list was generated on Sat Mar 2 18:59:05 2024 GMT.
  • Professional Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC)
  • Chartered Chemist (CChem)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Accredited Biosafety Practitioner, Biosafety Training Institute, Edinburgh University
  • Professional Membership of British Association for Cancer Research
  • Professional Membership of the American Association for Cancer Research
  • Chartered Biologist, Institute of Biology (CBioL)
  • Forensic Science Service Certified DNA profiler and DNA analyst

Last updated 28 February 2024