Dr Thomas A Hughes


Group Leader and Associate Professor of Cancer Biology. 

Published >50 peer-reviewed papers on various aspects of cancer biology 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), Diana Baxter (PhD student), Stacey Jones (clinical fellow), Caroline Strachan (clinical fellow).

Researchers co-supervised by Hughes: Muna Al-Jabri (PhD student; PI: Lucy Stead [Medicine]), Sam Hutchinson (PhD student; PI: James Thorne [Food Sciences]), Alex Websdale (PhD student; PI: James Thorne [Food Sciences]), Priscilia Lianto (PhD student; PI: James Thorne [Food Sciences]), Yazan Khaled (clinical research felllow; PI: David Jayne [Medicine]), Dagmara Kobza-Mroczkowska (PhD student; PI: Paul Beales [Chemistry]), Noha Gwili (MD student [University of Alexandria, Egypt])

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 group leader 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)


  • BA Hons
  • DPhil

Student education

Supervisor for 15 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, MSc Cancer Biology and Therapy) 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
  • Genetics and genomics
<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>