Dr Helen E Jones
My general interest is in the area of cell biology, specifically in the topics of cell signalling, cancer biology and programmed cell death. My speciality is the role of cell signalling in disease processes, with specific expertise regarding aberrant cell signalling mechanisms that lead to the development and progression of cancer. Such interests also encompass how cancer-related deregulated signalling can be therapeutically targeted using novel anti-cancer strategies.
After gaining a degree in Biomedical Sciences, I undertook my Ph.D. in Cell Biology in the Department of Zoology in Cardiff University, where I investigated the role of programmed cell death occurring during the metamorphosis of Drosophila melanogaster.
Several postdoctoral positions later, which encompassed the areas of toxicology, prostate cancer and cell imaging, I returned to the field of cancer research, gaining an AstraZeneca funded position in the Tenovus Centre for Cancer Research in the Welsh School of Pharmacy in Cardiff University. This position lasted 7 years, where I elucidated the mechanisms of de novo and acquired resistance to novel 'intelligent' anticancer therapies which target growth factor receptors and their signalling transduction cascades.
I subsequently joined the School of Biosciences as a Professional Tutor and I am extending my areas of interest into pedagogic topics. To this end, I have recently become a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Year 2 Medicine Student Selected Component Co-ordinator
My particular research interests involves the role that growth factor signalling plays in promoting the growth and development of the cancer phenotype. Indeed, over-expression and activity of growth factor receptor signalling has been associated with advanced metastatic disease and both intrinsic and acquired resistance to anti-cancer treatments. My research has been concerned with investigating the role that signalling via receptors such as the epidermal growth factor receptor and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor contribute to the growth of breast cancer cells resistant to the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, as resistance to this treatment is a major clinical problem.
Complementing this area, my research has also included evaluating the ability of novel signal transduction modulator (STM) drugs to target deregulated growth factor signalling in tumour cells.
Additionally, the elucidation of mechanisms underlying intrinsic and acquired resistance to STMs has also been studied in order to improve therapies and determine rational combination treatments to prevent or delay the emergence of the resistant tumour phenotype.