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Research interests

Pain is one of the first symptoms of pancreatic cancer, which becomes increasingly resistant to current analgesics as the disease progresses. This cancer-associated pain results from the invasion of tumour cells into the nerves that innervate the pancreas. However, the cellular mechanisms that tumours use to invade into the neural space and promote pain responses is poorly understood.


Our lab combines neuroscience and cancer biology-based techniques to study tumour-nerve interactions. Key to our approach is the use of complex 3D cellular models, which incorporate stem cell-derived sensory neurons with pancreatic tumour cells and cancer associated fibroblasts to recreate the tumour microenvironment in the lab. This allows us to study how tumours alter the activity of nerves, and how nerves influence tumour growth, in real time and space.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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