Breast Cancer Research Group

Breast Cancer

What we do

The breast cancer research group brings together academics with basic and clinical research backgrounds from the Faculties of Medicine and Health, Biological Sciences, Engineering and Physical Sciences, and Environment at the University of Leeds, and well as clinicians at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals. This breadth of expertise gives us the ability to identify important clinical problems, and find solutions using multiple approaches including analyses of ‘big data’ sets, novel chemistry, engineering and technology approaches, basic molecular and cellular biology, and clinical studies. 

Key research themes include:

  • Epidemiology and breast cancer risk
  • Breast tumour cell and molecular biology
  • Drug resistance and breast cancer metastasis
  • New breast cancer therapies and clinical trails research

Who we are

  • Thomas Hughes - Gene regulation, Tumour microenvironment, Nanomedicine, Biomarkers 
  • Sandra Bell - Stem cells, Drug resistance, Biomarkers 
  • Laura Matthews - Gene regulation, Tumour microenvironment, Drug resistance 
  • James Thorne - Nutrition, Gene regulation, Epigenetics 
  • Fiona Errington-Mais – Immunology, Immunotherapy, Combination therapy 
  • Georgia Mavria - Metastasis, Angiogenesis, Signal transduction 
  • Paul Beales – Biomembranes, Nanomedicine
  • Baek Kim – Surgery, Clinical studies
  • Samuel Smith - Cancer prevention and control, Behaviour change, Medication adherence


Our research is funded by a range of sources including Cancer Research UK, Yorkshire Cancer Research, the National Institute of Health Research, Medical Research Council, Welcome Trust, Breast Cancer UK, Breast Cancer Now and local charities including Breast Cancer Action and Leeds Cares.


We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in postgraduate study in breast cancer research. Competitive schemes are available for three-four year PhD studentships through a variety of routes including:

To apply through one of these routes, please contact the Investigator you would like to work with to discuss specific schemes and project outlines. Other opportunities will be posted on and on Investigators home pages. The Faculty Graduate School pages have further details for postgraduate research opportunities and projects in the laboratory.