Dr Fiona Errington-Mais

Dr Fiona Errington-Mais


I obtained a 1st Class Biochemistry degree (BSc Honours) in 1997 (Newcastle University) and completed a PhD with Professor C. Austin in 2000 at Newcastle University.

This PhD, which focused on the specificity of different topoisomerase inhibitors for the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), forged an interest in translational cancer research.

In 2001, I joined Prof A. Melcher at the University of Leeds and continued to work in cancer research; investigating novel immunotherapies to facilitate the development of anti-tumour immunity. 

In 2013, I was awarded a YCR Researcher Award and was subsequently appointed as an academic lecturer in December 2014.  I continue to lead an active research team focused on the development of novel therapies for a range of different cancer types and was recently (March 2022) promoted to Associate Professor.


  • Group Leader
  • Deputy Director of PGR studies
  • Module Lead for MEDM5420M

Research interests

I work in the field of cancer immunotherapy, focusing on the efficacy of oncolytic viruses (cancer-bursting viruses) for the treatment of both haematological malignancies and solid malignancies. I made a significant contribution to the oncolytic virus field, demontrating their potential as direct lytic agents and, more importantly,  immune modulators capable of boosting both innate and adaptive anti-tumour immune responses.

My primary research focus is to gain a better understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms required for oncolytic virus efficacy, either as direct lytic agents or immunotherapies. Morover, research projects also aim to increase our understanding of the tumour microenvironment and develop combination therapies with enhanced patient benefit.


  • Ist Class BSc (Honours)
  • PhD

Student education

I play a role in student education both at undergraduate and postgraduate level as Module Lead for two modules, and am also Deputy Director of PGR studies.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Infection and Immunity
  • Breast Cancer Research Group
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1485-limr-cancer:-complex-3d-modelling-of-the-tumour-microenvironment-for-immunotherapy-combination-screening">LIMR Cancer: Complex 3D modelling of the tumour microenvironment for immunotherapy combination screening</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1501-limr-cancer:-understanding-the-immunosuppressive-role-of-fibroblast-and-macrophages-in-breast-cancer">LIMR Cancer: Understanding the immunosuppressive role of fibroblast and macrophages in Breast cancer</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/72-limr-haematology:-oncogenic-reprogramming-of-immune-cells">LIMR Haematology: Oncogenic reprogramming of immune cells</a></li>