Dr Annica K.B. Gad
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
Lecturer in Cancer Biology
+44 114 215 9681
Full contact details
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
Annica K.B. Gad obtained her PhD in 2005 at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, studying “Cell Cycle Control by Components of Cell Anchorage” with Staffan Strömblad as her supervisor. Her postdoctoral work started with Mario Gimona at the Consorzio Mario Negri Sud Research Institute, Italy, focussing on the cytoskeletal crosslinking that underlies podosome formation. She then joined Pontus Aspenström at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Uppsala, Sweden, and also back at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, where she worked on the biology of the Rho GTPases.
In 2012, Dr Gad obtained a position as a Senior Researcher at the Karolinska Institute for her studies of the molecular mechanisms that control the mechanical properties of single cells, particularly in relation to cancer. Then in 2017, Dr Gad was recruited to the University of Madeira in Portugal, where she continued to study the mechanical properties of cells as a Senior Researcher.
In 2019, she moved to a Lecturer position at the University of Sheffield.
- Research interests
Dr Gad’s research is aimed at the identification of the molecular mechanisms that govern cancer cell metastasis and the cancer-promoting ability of cancer-associated fibroblasts. Her approach is via the control of the mechanical properties of cells, with the further aim being the development of drugs against cancer metastasis. As such drugs will be based only on cell mechanics, they will represent a previously unknown, mechano-based, class of drugs. Her research is thus focussed on how regulators of the cytoskeleton control cellular contractile forces and cellular stiffness, through approaches that include bioengineering, biochemistry and advanced microscopy, such as super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, collodial probe atomic force microscopy, and traction force microscopy. Studies of the mechanical properties of cells require advanced equipment and expertise from different research fields, and therefore, by its very nature, her research is highly interdisciplinary. As tumour cell invasion and metastasis is the number one cause of cancer deaths, the identification of a previously unknown, mechano-based, class of target proteins for the development of drugs that block cell invasion has great promise to provide significantly improved prevention of human deaths due to cancers.
The Molecular Control of the Mechanical Properties of Human Cells and Cancer.
- Vimentin diversity in health and disease. Cells, 7(10). View this article in WRRO
- Nanoscale localization of proteins within focal adhesions indicates discrete functional assemblies with selective force‐dependence. The FEBS Journal, 285(9), 1635-1652. View this article in WRRO
- RhoA knockout fibroblasts lose tumor-inhibitory capacity in vitro and promote tumor growth in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(8), e1413-e1421. View this article in WRRO
- Vimentin Levels and Serine 71 Phosphorylation in the Control of Cell-Matrix Adhesions, Migration Speed, and Shape of Transformed Human Fibroblasts. Cells, 6(1). View this article in WRRO
- Experimental and computational assessment of F-actin influence in regulating cellular stiffness and relaxation behaviour of fibroblasts. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 59, 168-184.
- Resolution, target density and labeling effects in colocalization studies - suppression of false positives by nanoscopy and modified algorithms. FEBS Journal, 283(5), 882-898. View this article in WRRO
- Correction to Supporting Information for Danielsson et al., Majority of differentially expressed genes are down-regulated during malignant transformation in a four-stage model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(51), E7158-E7158.
- RhoD is a Golgi component with a role in anterograde protein transport from the ER to the plasma membrane. Experimental Cell Research, 333(2), 208-219.
- Multicolor Fluorescence Nanoscopy by Photobleaching: Concept, Verification, and Its Application To Resolve Selective Storage of Proteins in Platelets. ACS Nano, 8(5), 4358-4365.
- Transient state microscopy probes patterns of altered oxygen consumption in cancer cells. FEBS Journal, 281(5), 1317-1332.
- Oncogenes induce a vimentin filament collapse mediated by HDAC6 that is linked to cell stiffness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(4), 1515-1520. View this article in WRRO
- Analysis of Rho GTPase-Induced Localization of Nanoscale Adhesions Using Fluorescence Nanoscopy, 339-357.
- Spatial organization of proteins in metastasizing cells. Cytometry Part A, 83(9), 855-865.
- Majority of differentially expressed genes are down-regulated during malignant transformation in a four-stage model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(17), 6853-6858.
- Nurture your scientific curiosity early in your research career. Nature Genetics, 45(2), 116-118.
- RhoD regulates cytoskeletal dynamics via the actin nucleation–promoting factor WASp homologue associated with actin Golgi membranes and microtubules. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 23(24), 4807-4819. View this article in WRRO
- Rho GTPases link cellular contractile force to the density and distribution of nanoscale adhesions. The FASEB Journal, 26(6), 2374-2382.
- Rif proteins take to the RhoD: Rho GTPases at the crossroads of actin dynamics and membrane trafficking. Cellular Signalling, 22(2), 183-189.
- Plectin deposition at podosome rings requires myosin contractility. Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton, 65(8), 614-625.
- Oncogenic H-Ras V12 promotes anchorage-independent cytokinesis in human fibroblasts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(51), 20338-20343.
- The kinase-inhibitory domain of p21-activated kinase 1 (PAK1) inhibits cell cycle progression independent of PAK1 kinase activity. Oncogene, 26(12), 1820-1828.
- Recombinant CD44-HABD is a novel and potent direct angiogenesis inhibitor enforcing endothelial cell-specific growth inhibition independently of hyaluronic acid binding. Oncogene, 23(47), 7874-7881.
- Retinoblastoma Susceptibility Gene Product (pRb) and p107 Functionally Separate the Requirements for Serum and Anchorage in the Cell Cycle G1-phase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(14), 13640-13644.
- RANTES promotes growth and survival of human first-trimester forebrain astrocytes. Nature Cell Biology, 3(2), 150-157.
Conference proceedings papers
- Profiling the Molecular changes during malignant transformation and response to different oxygen levels, using a combined transcriptomics and proteomics approach. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, Vol. 25
- Nuclear Actin Dynamics Regulate Nuclear Structure and Transcription. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, Vol. 24
- 316 POSTER Oncogenic H-Ras V12 promotes anchorage-independent cytokinesis. European Journal of Cancer Supplements, Vol. 5(4) (pp 61-61)
- Professional activities
1. ASPIC - The Portuguese Association for Cancer Research
2. EACR - European Association for Cancer Research. EACR Ambassador since 2018.
3. COST action CA 15214, an Integrative Action for Multidisciplinary Studies on Cellular Structural Networks, Working Group number 4: “Mechanobiological principles of rare and common diseases”