Research Associate Professor
BSc, PhD(Cape Town)
I did my undergraduate and PhD studies in Cape Town, South Africa, followed by post-doctoral work at the MRC in Harwell, UK.
Prior to joining the University of Otago in Christchurch, I worked as senior scientist at the Gray Cancer Institute in London, UK.
I am interested in why human tumours are difficult to treat, and in new ways of treating them.
My interests at present include:
- Can we dampen the activity of the global transcription factor HIF-1 using vitamin C? Can we reduce tumour growth in mice using vitamin C? Can we increase vitamin C in cancer cells using gene therapy? What is the relationship between ascorbate and HIF-1 in tumours from kidney cancer patients?
- Why do obese cancer patients often fare worse than non-obese patients? Can we identify the molecular factors associated with obesity in cancer? What effect do these obesity-related factors have on chemotherapy?
- Which human enzymes are responsible for the activation of novel anticancer prodrugs (in collaboration with Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre)? Can this knowledge guide clinical use of these agents?
- Can we improve gene directed enzyme prodrug therapy combinations to target solid tumours or their vasculature?