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Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
+44 (0)1865 484216
Dave graduated from York University with a BSc in Biochemistry, which included a year working on the human genome project at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge. He completed his PhD at Cambridge University under the supervision of Dr Peter Fraser. During his PhD he developed a novel assay, ‘RNA-tagging and recovery of associated proteins’, to demonstrate a physical interaction between a locus control region and the β-globin gene. He then worked at Oxford University as a postdoctoral researcher in Prof Peter Cook’s lab, investigating the structure of transcription factories. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science in October 2009 (and recently promoted to Reader) in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University (OBU). Here he established a lab to study the effects of non-coding RNAs and extracellular vesicles in stress response.
Cargo and delivery of extracellular vesiclesExtracellular vesicles (EVs) are small cargo-carrying vesicles that can be released by cells into the extracellular space. For many years it was thought that EVs were simply a route by which cells removed unwanted material, but it is now realised that they have a range of important functional roles and are part of the molecular dialogue that cells use to communicate. We are investigating how EVs are taken up by cells and how they are able to cause changes to the recipient cells.
Extracellular vesicles as mediators of intercellular stress responseCells that have been stressed release factors that signal to neighbouring cells. These factors can be taken up by nearby cells triggering the appearance of DNA damage. Together with our collaborator, Prof Munira Kadhim, we have shown that extracellular vesicles are responsible for this so called "bystander effect". We now wish to characterise the contents of these vesicles and understand the mechanisms by which they can induce DNA damage in neighbouring cells.
The role of miRNAs and extracellular vesicles in regulating drug resistance in cancerMany forms of cancer can be treated with cytotoxic drugs. Such treatment is often successful in the first instance, but the cancer usually evolves and often returns as a drug resistant tumour. We are interested in characterising the changes in miRNA expression and extracellular vesicle function that occur as cancer cells acquire drug resistance. More importantly we want to test whether perturbing miRNAs or modifying vesicles can induce or reverse the resistance to cytotoxic drugs such as cisplatin.