Dr Munitta Muthana

Dr Munitta Muthana photographed in Weston Park.

I am second generation British, Yemeni born and Sheffield raised. My father came to the UK in the 1950s from the Aden Colony and worked in the steel mills as did many other Yemeni immigrants who later settled in Sheffield. 

In traditional style, I got married in my late teens. Now, I have three children, the eldest being 30 and the youngest 13. Despite starting my family at a young age, I loved learning and was determined to go to university. With this passion for education, I obtained an honours degree in Biomedical Sciences and completed a PhD in Cancer Immunology here at Sheffield.

I am currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism, with a long standing track record of working with cancer killing viruses. Together with my research team in Nanobug Oncology Sheffield, we are now focusing on protecting these viruses in the blood stream so that we can deliver them to the internal tumours using a number of novel approaches in nanomedicine. 

As a team, we have achieved a number of breakthroughs. For example, we devised a new way to deliver large quantities of cancer killing viruses to tumours using a cell delivery approach, which you can read more about in this BBC News article that references our 2013 study published in the Cancer Research journal

We have also been able to magnetise anti-tumour viruses to guide them towards breast and prostate cancer which they would then attack. We are working towards being able to manufacture sufficient supplies of the virus magnets to start carrying out clinical trials on humans, and I spoke about this to The Guardian in May 2022. 

Looking into the future, my main research goal is to drive my team’s discoveries from bench to bedside. As a Departmental Director for One University, my other goal is to fulfil the University vision by building a diverse community of staff and students and creating an inclusive, supportive and collaborative environment where we can all continue to succeed and flourish.

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