Our Scientific Advisory Board
Dr Cathy Merry
Dr Cathy Merry is based in the Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling (STEM) at the University of Nottingham where her Stem Cell Glycobiology Group work to uncover the role of complex sugars (glycosaminoglycans or GAGs) in controlling cell behaviour.
Cathy has long been fascinated by the study of complex sugars, working with Amgen Inc. during her undergraduate studies to sequence the glycans of erythropoietin (EPO) and going on to work with Professor John Gallagher at the Paterson Cancer Research Institute for her PhD to develop a method for sequencing the GAGs that decorate almost all cells in the body. Cathy was able to access embryonic stem cell technology at an early stage (with Dr Val Wilson, Edinburgh) and carried out the first detailed studies demonstrating how changing patterns of GAGs direct stem cells differentiation. In 2006 Cathy established an independent group at the School of Materials, Manchester to work with colleagues on functionalising biomaterials to provide artificial environments for cell culture that could mimic healthy and diseased tissues.
Now, Cathy is further developing these models, with a current project using hydrogels as an alternative to animal models for the study of ductal carcinoma in situ, in collaboration with Dr Gillian Farnie and Prof. Tony Howell at the University of Manchester.
Professor Joy Burchell
Professor Joy Burchell is a glyco-oncologist of The Breast Cancer Biology Group at Kings College London and studies the molecular and phenotypic changes that occur in breast cancer with the aim of translating the findings into clinical applications.
The involvement of aberrant O-linked glycosylation in the development and progression of breast cancers is a major focus for the laboratory in two areas of research; the changes that occur in O-linked glycosylation in breast cancer and epigenetic changes associated with histone demethylation.
Professor Ruth Muschel
Professor Ruth Muschel is Deputy Director of the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute of Radiation Oncology and Professor of Molecular Pathology at the University of Oxford.
She obtained MD and PhD degrees at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City and completed her specialty training in anatomic pathology at Columbia University and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda. She continued on staff at the NCI before taking an academic position at the University of Pennsylvania, where she advanced to the rank of Professor.
Ruth leads the Mechanisms of the Metastasis Group in the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford, and is interested in the mechanisms underlying the development of metastasis and the interaction between blood vessels and tumour cells.
Sarah Crane is Chief Executive of The Pelican Cancer Foundation. She was previously Chief Executive of the Army Families Federation.
Sarah’s role is to translate the charity’s objectives into actions. To achieve this, there is an annual curriculum of courses and meetings for clinicians and members of the multi-disciplinary team to discuss and develop advances in cancer treatments.
Sarah works closely with the Research Review Panel to maintain the charity’s research portfolio of worthwhile studies that advance our understanding of current treatment for rectal, liver and prostate cancers.