Dr Mihaela Lorger

Dr Mihaela Lorger


I am a head of Brain Metastasis Research Group. We are studying the biology of brain metastases, with a particular focus on tumour immunology and novel therapies in preclinical models.

I received my PhD degree from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. I did postdoctoral training at the University of Zurich in Switzerland where I investigated the role of cell-junction proteins in the transformation of mammary cells, and at The Scripps Research Institute in California where I studied the biology of brain metastases. I became an independent group leader at the University of Leeds in 2011 and was tenured in 2016.

Current roles:

  • Chair of the St. James’s Biological Services (SBS) user group (2017 – present)
  • Member of the Biological services project group (2018 – present)
  • Member of the Leeds Institute of Medical Research REF Reading Group in the area of Immunology & Immunotherapy (2017 – present)
  • Member of the University of Leeds Biological Services (ULBS) committee (2017 – present)
  • Member of the Joint Research Tissue Bank Management Committee (2012 – present)
  • Member of the Leeds Breast Cancer Bank review panel (2015 – present)
  • Ad hoc grant reviewer for Medical Research Council, Breast Cancer Now, Worldwide Cancer Research, and others

Previous roles:

  • Member of the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Committee (2014 – 2018)
  • Member of the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS) annual conference organizing committee (2015/2016)
  • Organizer of the “Pre-clinical imaging in research” symposium, University of Leeds (2014)
  • Member of the organising Committee for the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology retreat (2014)


  • Head of Brain metastasis research group
  • Postgraduate research tutor

Research interests

Our research group is focusing on brain metastases. Specific topics studied in the lab include:

  1. The cross-talk between macrophages and cancer cells in brain metastases
  2.  Harnessing hematopoietic stem cells for the delivery of therapies to brain tumours
  3. Improving the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in brain metastases
  4. Intracranial patient-derived tumour xenografts as improved pre-clinical models for studying CDK4/6 inhibitors
  5. Identifying molecular players involved in breast cancer cell dormancy in the brain

Please visit the Brain metastasis research group website - for further details check here.


  • PhD Biology
  • MSc Molecular Biology

Professional memberships

  • Metastasis research society (since 2010)

Student education

I am a module leader for MSc Cancer biology and molecular oncology MEDM5221

I teach on MSc module Animal models of disease MEDM5131

I am a tutor on MBChB RESS1 MEDI121801

I supervise the following PhD students:

  • Yolanda Dyah Kartika, PhD student, 3rd year (main supervisor)
  • Ashley Sunderland, PhD student, 3rd year (main supervisor)
  • Anastasia Widyadari, PhD student, 2nd year (co-supervisor)

Research groups and institutes

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

Current postgraduate researchers

<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/214-manipulating-t-cell-metabolism-to-improve-anti-tumour-immunity">Manipulating T cell metabolism to improve anti-tumour immunity</a></li>