Kathryn McGinnis

Kathryn McGinnis


Kathryn graduated with an MSci in Immunology from the University of Glasgow in the summer of 2016 which included a 12 month industrial placement in stem cell research. During this time, Kathryn developed a particular interest in cancer and inflammation biology. Kathryn joined the University of Leeds in October 2016 to begin her PhD, under the supervision of Dr Laura Matthews and Dr Jacquelyn Bond to study inflammatory signalling in brain cancer.

Research interests

Kathryn's PhD project aims to define glucocorticoid responses in glioblastoma, a highly aggressive form of brain cancer. Glucocorticoids are anti-inflammatory steroid hormones and are an essential part of treatment of patients with glioblastoma, used to reduce local tissue inflammation before surgery. While the action of these steroids on immune cells are well documented, their direct effects on the brain tumour cells are not well understood.

Kathryn has used transcriptomics to define genome wide transcriptional responses of brain cancer cells to glucocorticoids. Kathryn has identified novel pathways regulated by glucoocrticoids within glioblastoma. These studies will define direct action of glucocorticoids on tumours cells, confirm the safe use of glucocorticoids in cancer treatment, and inform strategies to improve anti-inflammatory therapies for cancer patients. 


  • MSci Immunology
  • BSc Immunology

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's