Spender, Lindsay


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Lindsay graduated from The University of Birmingham, U.K. before working in the pharmaceutical industry for four years helping to identify novel anti-viral therapeutic agents. She was then accepted on the Welcome Prize Studentship programme to study for a PhD in immunology at Imperial College, London, where she carried out research into the pathological effects of a common childhood respiratory virus. Lindsay then joined Professor Paul Farrell’s laboratory in the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London as a postdoctoral scientist working on B-cell lymphomas and Epstein-Barr virus. In 2004, Lindsay moved to join Professor Gareth Inman’s lab at The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow to study the mechanisms of TGF-β-induced tumour suppressor activity in human B cells and B cell lymphomas and then moved to Dundee University Medical School at Ninewells Hospital in 2010 where she continued as senior postdoctoral scientist in Gareth’s lab. Lindsay is now senior postdoctoral scientist and lab manager in Professor Russell Petty’s lab in Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Ninewells Medical School working on drug resistance mechanisms in oesophageal cancer. Lindsay’s work is supported by the Ninewells Cancer Campaign and Chief Scientist Office https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/977384/dundee-scientists-lead-research-on-forgotten-cancer-as-number-of-patients-in-tayside-double/.


Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a type of cancer of the oesophagus (food-pipe), associated with social deprivation and poverty, and a key public health concern for Scotland where the incidence in women is the highest in the world.  Current treatments are not very effective and most patients die within 1 year. Our previous research suggests that OSCC patients who have tumours with too much of the EGFR protein benefit from drugs which specifically block EGFR and stop EGFR-positive tumours growing. Gefitinib and EGFR Gene Copy Number Aberrations in Esophageal Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Jul 10;35(20):2279-2287.  This research lays the foundations for personalised precise treatment. However, all OSCC tumours eventually become resistant to anti-EGFR drugs and tumours regrow. We are studying potential mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy in OSCC to provide the data needed to deliver clinical trials to accelerate the development of effective treatments for OSCC patients.


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