The main focus of Dr Elisabeth Phillips' research is related to the field of cancer cell biology.
Dr Phillips has mainly focused on breast cancer; investigating the mechanisms behind therapy resistance using proteomics and investigating the risk factor obesity and how it contributes to the progression of cancer. Obesity is known to have a negative impact on breast cancer; obese women have more distant metastases at diagnosis and have higher mortality rates.
Through gaining insight into the biology of the adipocyte and the interaction that occurs between tumour cells and this largely neglected stromal cell we can determine whether the local effects of the adipocytes impact upon tumour cell biology.
Mass spectrometry and antibody array technology can be used to assess adipocyte secreted factors to determine which are important in modulating epithelial cell fate and cancer progression and or response to therapy.