Elizabeth Valleley


I am a Lecturer in the Division of Molecular Medicine, LIMR with research interests in cancer biology, epigenetics of human disease and epigenetic drug therapy for cancer.

I studied Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Manchester, and worked initially for ICI Seeds (now Syngenta). I returned to the University of Manchester to study for a PhD with Professor Paul T. Sharpe and Professor Mark Ferguson, on conserved genes and pathways involved in sex determination. I was awarded my PhD in 1993. I joined the Molecular Medicine Unit, University of Leeds in 1994 as a Postdoctoral Research fellow, and developed an interest in cancer, epigenetics and genomic imprinting. I worked on postdoctoral research projects in Leeds and Manchester on genetic mutations of Factor XIII in ovarian cancer, mutations that cause SAMHD1 deficiency in autoimmune Aicardi-Goutières syndrome and epigenetic dysregulation of a tumour suppressor gene (ZAC/PLAGL1) in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

I became a Principal Investigator in 2005 and established my own research group in LIMR, working on epigenetic regulation of tumour suppressor genes and models of disease for breast cancer and haematological cancers, with funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research and the Breast Cancer Campaign. I was promoted to Senior Research fellow in 2007 and became a Lecturer in 2017.


  • Group leader
  • Postgraduate research tutor

Research interests

Current research in my group is focused on cancer biology and epigenetic drug therapy, aiming to exploit changes in tumour cells for cancer treatment, principally for colorectal cancer and breast cancer. We collaborate with colleagues as part of the Leeds Microbubble Consortium, to develop therapeutic microbubbles for targeted drug delivery.

Research Group Members

Joseph Fox, PhD student (Co-supervisor)

Previous group members (students):

Caroline Berteau, PhD awarded 2019

Alice Webb, PhD awarded 2019 (co-supervisor)

Alexia Alexandraki, PhD awarded 2018

Anastasia Alataki, PhD awarded 2018

Baek Kim, MD awarded 2015 (co-supervisor)

MSc Molecular Medicine project students: Zoë McCawley (2022), Chido Chipato (2022), Sarah Mattock (2020), Niall Massey (2018) and Alexia Alexandraki (2014).

BSc Biology project students: Jack Diamond (2020), Alice Colyer (2019) and Rebecca Wells (2018).

MBiol project student: Annabel Hood (2020).


  • BSc (Hons.) Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Manchester
  • PhD, University of Manchester
  • Cert. Clinical Research, University of Leeds
  • PGCert. LTHE, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • The British Association for Cancer Research (BACR)
  • The European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)
  • The Genetics Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

Module lead for MSc Molecular Medicine; MSc Cancer Biology and Therapy; LIMR International PhD Academy programme

MBChB Year 1 Research, Evaluation and Special Studies (RESS/ENQUIRE) tutor

Advanced Topic (ATU) lead for BSc Biology/Biomedical Sciences

Supervisor for MSc, BSc and MBiol research projects

MBChB Year 1/2 Academic Personal tutor

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
<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>