Gillian Farnie

Principal Investigator

University of Oxford
Group: 
Cell Biology

Gillian Farnie studied pharmacology at the University of Liverpool (UK) and did her PhD in molecular oncology at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2002).  She then had 6 years postdoctoral training in breast biology and breast cancer, developing novel 3D culture systems to grow human ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and investigating epidermal growth factor and Notch signalling.  During collaborations with Dr Rob Clarke she became interested in cancer stem cell (CSC) signalling and was awarded an esteemed 5-year Breast Cancer Now Scientific Fellowship (2008) to start her research group. 

Based at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre her research focused on the role of breast CSCs in the resistance to radio and chemotherapy, exploring FAK and Wnt signalling as well as metabolic and epigenetic targets.  Aligned with these studies her lab is also developing bespoke hydrogel models of breast progression in collaboration with Dr Cathy Merry and Prof Tony Howell.

Research Areas

The Cell Biology group will innovate and develop assays to validate in-cell efficacy of established and new probe families which include bromodomains, Nudix hydrolases, deaminase and DENN domains.  Each assay will be developed to address the unique biology of the target using molecular biology (inc CRISPR, RNAseq, ChIP, Mass Spectrocopy) and confocal microscopy (HTS/HCS). Further detailed investigations into the biological mechanism and disease target will be carried out both in-house and with academic and pharmaceutical industry collaborations.  By advancing SGC probes into cellular assays we aim to produce pre-clinical in vitro data to enable the translation of SGC probes into a disease area within the clinic. 

Gillian’s research interests include disease heterogeneity, multicellular and 3D disease models. 

Group Members

  • Vicki Gamble

Publications

Patient-derived Mammosphere and Xenograft Tumour Initiation Correlates with Progression to Metastasis.
Eyre, R; Alférez, DG; Spence, K; Kamal, M; Shaw, FL; Simões, BM; Santiago-Gómez, A; Sarmiento-Castro, A; Bramley, M; Absar, M; Saad, Z; Chatterjee, S; Kirwan, C; Gandhi, A; Armstrong, AC; Wardley, AM; O'Brien, CS; Farnie, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia. 2016 :-. doi:
PMID: 27680982

Anti-estrogen Resistance in Human Breast Tumors Is Driven by JAG1-NOTCH4-Dependent Cancer Stem Cell Activity.
Simões, BM; O'Brien, CS; Eyre, R; Silva, A; Yu, L; Sarmiento-Castro, A; Alférez, DG; Spence, K; Santiago-Gómez, A; Chemi, F; Acar, A; Gandhi, A; Howell, A; Brennan, K; Rydén, L; Catalano, S; Andó, S; Gee, J; Ucar, A; Sims, AH; Marangoni, E; Farnie, G; Landberg, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
Cell Reports. 2015 12:1968-1977. doi:
PMID: 26387946

High mitochondrial mass identifies a sub-population of stem-like cancer cells that are chemo-resistant.
Farnie, G; Sotgia, F; Lisanti, MP;
Oncotarget. 2015 6:30472-30486. doi:
PMID: 26421710

Focal adhesion kinase and Wnt signaling regulate human ductal carcinoma in situ stem cell activity and response to radiotherapy.
Williams, KE; Bundred, NJ; Landberg, G; Clarke, RB; Farnie, G;
Stem Cells. 2015 33:327-341. doi:
PMID: 25187396

Targeting CXCR1/2 significantly reduces breast cancer stem cell activity and increases the efficacy of inhibiting HER2 via HER2-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
Singh, JK; Farnie, G; Bundred, NJ; Simões, BM; Shergill, A; Landberg, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
Clinical Cancer Research. 2013 19:643-656. doi:
PMID: 23149820

Regulation of breast cancer stem cell activity by signaling through the Notch4 receptor.
Harrison, H; Farnie, G; Howell, SJ; Rock, RE; Stylianou, S; Brennan, KR; Bundred, NJ; Clarke, RB;
Cancer Research. 2010 70:709-718. doi:
PMID: 20068161

Novel cell culture technique for primary ductal carcinoma in situ: role of Notch and epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathways.
Farnie, G; Clarke, RB; Spence, K; Pinnock, N; Brennan, K; Anderson, NG; Bundred, NJ;
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2007 99:616-627. doi:
PMID: 17440163

2016

Patient-derived Mammosphere and Xenograft Tumour Initiation Correlates with Progression to Metastasis.
Eyre, R; Alférez, DG; Spence, K; Kamal, M; Shaw, FL; Simões, BM; Santiago-Gómez, A; Sarmiento-Castro, A; Bramley, M; Absar, M; Saad, Z; Chatterjee, S; Kirwan, C; Gandhi, A; Armstrong, AC; Wardley, AM; O'Brien, CS; Farnie, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia. 2016 :-. doi:
PMID: 27680982

3D modelling identifies novel genetic dependencies associated with breast cancer progression in the isogenic MCF10 model.
Maguire, SL; Peck, B; Wai, PT; Campbell, J; Barker, H; Gulati, A; Daley, F; Vyse, S; Huang, P; Lord, CJ; Farnie, G; Brennan, K; Natrajan, R;
Journal of Pathology. 2016 :-. doi:
PMID: 27512948

PO-11 - Thrombin and cancer stem-like cells: in vitro support for breast cancer anticoagulation.
Castle, J; Farnie, G; Kirwan, CC;
Thrombosis Research: vascular obstruction, hemorrhage and hemostasis. 2016 :-. doi:
PMID: 27161699

2015

High mitochondrial mass identifies a sub-population of stem-like cancer cells that are chemo-resistant.
Farnie, G; Sotgia, F; Lisanti, MP;
Oncotarget. 2015 6:30472-30486. doi:
PMID: 26421710

Anti-estrogen Resistance in Human Breast Tumors Is Driven by JAG1-NOTCH4-Dependent Cancer Stem Cell Activity.
Simões, BM; O'Brien, CS; Eyre, R; Silva, A; Yu, L; Sarmiento-Castro, A; Alférez, DG; Spence, K; Santiago-Gómez, A; Chemi, F; Acar, A; Gandhi, A; Howell, A; Brennan, K; Rydén, L; Catalano, S; Andó, S; Gee, J; Ucar, A; Sims, AH; Marangoni, E; Farnie, G; Landberg, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
Cell Reports. 2015 12:1968-1977. doi:
PMID: 26387946

Focal adhesion kinase and Wnt signaling regulate human ductal carcinoma in situ stem cell activity and response to radiotherapy.
Williams, KE; Bundred, NJ; Landberg, G; Clarke, RB; Farnie, G;
Stem Cells. 2015 33:327-341. doi:
PMID: 25187396

2014

A differential role for CXCR4 in the regulation of normal versus malignant breast stem cell activity.
Ablett, MP; O'Brien, CS; Sims, AH; Farnie, G; Clarke, RB;
Oncotarget. 2014 5:599-612. doi:
PMID: 24583601

Lapatinib inhibits stem/progenitor proliferation in preclinical in vitro models of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
Farnie, G; Johnson, RL; Williams, KE; Clarke, RB; Bundred, NJ;
Cell Cycle. 2014 13:418-425. doi:
PMID: 24247151

2013

Recent advances reveal IL-8 signaling as a potential key to targeting breast cancer stem cells.
Singh, JK; Simões, BM; Howell, SJ; Farnie, G; Clarke, RB;
Breast Cancer Research. 2013 15:210-. doi:
PMID: 24041156

Targeting CXCR1/2 significantly reduces breast cancer stem cell activity and increases the efficacy of inhibiting HER2 via HER2-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
Singh, JK; Farnie, G; Bundred, NJ; Simões, BM; Shergill, A; Landberg, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
Clinical Cancer Research. 2013 19:643-656. doi:
PMID: 23149820

2012

A detailed mammosphere assay protocol for the quantification of breast stem cell activity.
Shaw, FL; Harrison, H; Spence, K; Ablett, MP; Simões, BM; Farnie, G; Clarke, RB;
Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia. 2012 17:111-117. doi:
PMID: 22665270

P-cadherin is coexpressed with CD44 and CD49f and mediates stem cell properties in basal-like breast cancer.
Vieira, AF; Ricardo, S; Ablett, MP; Dionísio, MR; Mendes, N; Albergaria, A; Farnie, G; Gerhard, R; Cameselle-Teijeiro, JF; Seruca, R; Schmitt, F; Clarke, RB; Paredes, J;
Stem Cells. 2012 30:854-864. doi:
PMID: 22389315

2011

Breast cancer stem cells and their role in resistance to endocrine therapy.
O'Brien, CS; Farnie, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
Hormones and Cancer. 2011 2:91-103. doi:
PMID: 21761332

2010

Breast cancer stem cells: something out of notching?
Harrison, H; Farnie, G; Brennan, KR; Clarke, RB;
Cancer Research. 2010 70:8973-8976. doi:
PMID: 21045140

Regulation of breast cancer stem cell activity by signaling through the Notch4 receptor.
Harrison, H; Farnie, G; Howell, SJ; Rock, RE; Stylianou, S; Brennan, KR; Bundred, NJ; Clarke, RB;
Cancer Research. 2010 70:709-718. doi:
PMID: 20068161

2009

Resistance to endocrine therapy: are breast cancer stem cells the culprits?
O'Brien, CS; Howell, SJ; Farnie, G; Clarke, RB;
Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia. 2009 14:45-54. doi:
PMID: 19252972

Are stem-like cells responsible for resistance to therapy in breast cancer?
O'Brien, CS; Farnie, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
. 2009 :97-109. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-8526-0_6
PMID:

2008

Prolactin receptor antagonism reduces the clonogenic capacity of breast cancer cells and potentiates doxorubicin and paclitaxel cytotoxicity.
Howell, SJ; Anderson, E; Hunter, T; Farnie, G; Clarke, RB;
Breast Cancer Research. 2008 10:R68-. doi:
PMID: 18681966

Are stem-like cells responsible for resistance to therapy in breast cancer?
O'Brien, CS; Farnie, G; Howell, SJ; Clarke, RB;
Breast Disease. 2008 29:83-89. doi:
PMID: 19029627

2007

Mammary stem cells and breast cancer--role of Notch signalling.
Farnie, G; Clarke, RB;
Stem Cell Reviews. 2007 3:169-175. doi:
PMID: 17873349

Breast cancer stem cells: Potential therapeutic targets
Howell, SJ; Farnie, G; Clarke, RB;
Advances in Breast Cancer. 2007 4:51-53. doi:
PMID:

Novel cell culture technique for primary ductal carcinoma in situ: role of Notch and epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathways.
Farnie, G; Clarke, RB; Spence, K; Pinnock, N; Brennan, K; Anderson, NG; Bundred, NJ;
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2007 99:616-627. doi:
PMID: 17440163

2006

Small-molecule inhibitors of the MDM2-p53 protein-protein interaction based on an isoindolinone scaffold.
Hardcastle, IR; Ahmed, SU; Atkins, H; Farnie, G; Golding, BT; Griffin, RJ; Guyenne, S; Hutton, C; Källblad, P; Kemp, SJ; Kitching, MS; Newell, DR; Norbedo, S; Northen, JS; Reid, RJ; Saravanan, K; Willems, HM; Lunec, J;
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2006 49:6209-6221. doi:
PMID: 17034127

Breast stem cells and cancer.
Farnie, G; Clarke, RB;
. 2006 :141-153. doi:
PMID: 17939300

2005

Isoindolinone-based inhibitors of the MDM2-p53 protein-protein interaction.
Hardcastle, IR; Ahmed, SU; Atkins, H; Calvert, AH; Curtin, NJ; Farnie, G; Golding, BT; Griffin, RJ; Guyenne, S; Hutton, C; Källblad, P; Kemp, SJ; Kitching, MS; Newell, DR; Norbedo, S; Northen, JS; Reid, RJ; Saravanan, K; Willems, HM; Lunec, J;
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2005 15:1515-1520. doi:
PMID: 15713419

2004

The mitogenic action of insulin-like growth factor I in normal human mammary epithelial cells requires the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase.
Ahmad, T; Farnie, G; Bundred, NJ; Anderson, NG;
Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2004 279:1713-1719. doi:
PMID: 14593113

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