Dr Julie Burns

Dr Julie Burns


I came to Leeds in 2009 as laboratory manager for Professor M Knowles Molecular Biology of Urothelial Cancer group and combine managing the lab with research on various genes involved in bladder cancer development.

I obtained a PhD in Genetics from the University of Edinburgh, studying the genetic basis of susceptibility to the teratogenic effect of maternal histidinaemia (a single gene biochemical genetic disease) in the mouse under the supervision of Dr Henrik Kacser. Following this, I carried out postdoctoral research in the Cystic Fibrosis Research Group headed by Drs M Buchwald and J R Riordan in the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. After returning to the UK I joined the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow as a postdoctoral researcher in Dr E K Parkinson’s group researching the genetic basis of cellular senescence and immortality and the role of p53 in oral cancer development. After a career break, I moved to the University of York, initially in the lab of Professor D White on the role of actin in muscle motility, then joined the YCR Cancer Research Unit. I worked mainly on human papillomavirus (HPV16) proteins and latterly on gene therapy for prostate cancer, specifically directing expression of E. coli nitroreductase to prostate tumour cells



  • Laboratory manager/researcher for Molecular Biology of Urothelial Cancers Group

Research interests

Modelling bladder cancer development by gene editing or overexpression of key genes in primary normal urothelial cells in 2D and 3D culture.


  • BSc University of Edinburgh
  • PhD University of Edinburgh

Professional memberships

  • Biochemical Society
  • AACR

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Cancer
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