Dr Thomas A Hughes


Group Leader and Associate Professor of Cancer Biology. 

Published >75 peer-reviewed papers on various aspects of cancer biology, cancer therapy, and molecular cell biology.

Highly experienced reviewer, editor, and panel member for grant/paper review, and external examiner for taught courses and doctoral degrees.

Lead roles in masters level education. 

Research interests

The aim of my research is to increase understanding of the biology of cancers, particularly breast cancer, with a view to using these new insights to improve cancer outcomes. 

Particular research strengths are regulation of gene expression, roles of the tumour microenvironment, use and identification of cancer biomarkers and targets, and investigation of novel therapies. 

My work involves close collaboration with staff at the Leeds NHS Trusts, including surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and immunologists. This underpins my research by allowing access to clinical tissue and data, and translational of findings into the clinic. I also collaborate closely with engineers and chemists on the development of nanomedicine approaches for drug delivery and novel therapeutics.

Current Hughes group: Arindam Pramanik (post-doc), Ritika Rampal (clinical fellow), Sophie Hebden (MSc project student), Louis Mcloughlin (MSc by research)

Researchers co-supervised by Hughes: Muna Al-Jabri (PI: Lucy Stead), Mengfan Xu (PI: James Thorne), Dagmara Kobza-Mroczkowska (PI: Paul Beales), Cheng Cheng (PI: Olivier Cayre), Daniel Williams (PI: Olivier Cayre) 

Hughes group alumni: Waleed Al Amri (PhD with TAH, now senior scientist Royal Hospital, Muscat, Oman), Robyn Broad (PhD with TAH, now scientist at Adaptimmune), James Thorne (post-doc with TAH, now Associate Prof in Leeds), Baek Kim (MD with TAH, now consultant breast surgeon), Rebecca Millian-Slater (MD with TAH, now consultant pathologist), Eldo Verghese (PhD with TAH, now consultant pathologist), Vicky Cookson (post-doc with TAH, now senior post-doc Sheffield), Laura Smith (post-doc with TAH, then group leader in Leeds), Brian Hogan (MD with TAH, now consultant breast surgeon), Noha Gwili (MD with TAH, now Lecturer at University of Alexandria), Stacey Jones (MD with TAH, now breast surgeon), Diana Baxter (PhD with TAH, now post-doc in Barcelona), Fiona Langlands (MD with TAH, now consultant breast surgeon)


  • BA Hons
  • DPhil

Student education

Supervisor for 22 successful doctoral students since 2008, researching basic cancer biology or translational approaches to improve cancer therapies. These include both basic scientists and clinicians, registering for their degrees in Leeds, or abroad.

Supervisor for multiple masters-level project students.  

Leader (MSc Molecular Medicine) and contributor to masters level teaching on molecular medicine and cancer biology.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Cancer
  • Rare Diseases & Genetics
  • 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>