Dr Erica di Martino

Dr Erica di Martino


I am a biologist (BSc Biological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy, 1999) with a particular interest in medical genetics (MSc Medical Molecular Genetics, University of Aberdeen, 2001).

I have moved to Leeds in 2001 to undertake a PhD on the molecular changes associated with oesophagal cancer, under the supervision of Professor Chris Wild and Dr Laura Hardie. After completing my PhD, I joined Professor Knowles’s group, in the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, as Postdoctoral Research Fellow investigating the role of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors (FGFRs) in the development of bladder cancer. I was awarded a three-year Yorkshire Cancer Research Project Award in 2012 to investigate the role of transcription factors of the ETS-family as effectors of FGFRs signalling in bladder cancer. Overall, my research has detailed the cellular signalling and phenotypic consequences of common activating mutations of FGFR3 found in bladder tumours and identified key downstream effectors of FGFR3 signalling, which could be used as prognostic or diagnostic markers, or as therapeutic targets in the clinical management of bladder cancer.

In September 2018 I moved to Prof. Neal's group, within the Academic Unit of Primary Care, and I am working as part of a Cancer Research UK international collaborative programme (https://www.cantest.org/) aimed at shortening cancer diagnostic times by developing and implementing new and improved cancer diagnostic tests into GP surgeries.

Research interests

My research is focused on understanding the molecular changes occurring whilst normal cells become malignant, and using this information to develop new tests and improve cancer diagnosis. I am particularly interested in point-of-care tests, which could be implemented in a primary care setting.


  • PhD Molecular Oncology, Leeds, 2005
  • MSc Medical Molecular Genetics, Aberdeen, 2001
  • BSc Biological Sciences, Cagliari (Italy), 1999

Professional memberships

  • FHEA

Student education

Lead of Body Systems ICU, 1st year MBChB

Small-group teaching for 1st year MBChB

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Primary Care Oncology
  • Division of Primary Care, Palliative Care and Public Health
  • Primary care