Dr Bernard Corfe

BSc PhD

Department of Oncology and Metabolism

Senior Lecturer in Oncology

Principal Investigator in Molecular Gastroenterology

Fellow of Insigneo

b.m.corfe@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 215 9044

Full contact details

Dr Bernard Corfe
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
G Floor
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
Sheffield
S10 2RX
Profile

I joined the University of Sheffield as a lecturer in 2002 following training in molecular pharmacology. My research training was in microbial molecular biology and my first postdoc was in Sheffield with Professor Anne Moir in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. I subsequently worked with Professor Caroline Dive in Manchester, studying the regulation of apoptosis in response to chemotherapeutic drugs. It was through this research that I became interested in the regulation of apoptosis by butyrate.

Research interests

Work in my group examines the relationship between diet, short-chain fatty acid production and metabolism and cell fate in the normal and neoplastic colon. A detailed summary is found on my Research Page .
Butyrate and cell fate determination: Butyrate is of particular interest as it is described as an inhibitor of histone deacetylases – (although we disagree with this: Corfe, 2012) is in clinical trials or clinical use, yet it is also a fermentation product of the gut microbiome present at pharmacologically active concentrations in the normal healthy colon lumen. It has been implicated as a mechanism for cancer prevention by fibre. A growing literature recognises protein acetylation as a regulatory mechanism comparable with phosphorylation. My group studies the transcription factor Sp1 (Chirakkal et al., 2006; Waby et al., 2010, Yu et al., 2010) and the cytoskeletal proteins keratin 8, 18 and 19 (Leech et al., 2008; Corfe et al., 2015; Evans et al., 2015) all of whose functions are controlled, inter alia, by acetylation.

Computational and Mathematical Modelling of the Colon: We have noted changes in the composition of cell types in the colon crypt in response to butyrate and to neoplasia (Yu et al., 2011) and we have developed fully semantic mathematical models to examine crypt cell fate determination (Smallbone & Corfe, 2014). We have extended into computational modelling in collaboration with Dawn Walker, and have developed novel agent-based models of the crypt and gut (Ingham Dempster et al., 2017).

Diet, Nutrition and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is a prevalent, complex, multifactorial and under-funded / under-researched condition. My team are actively investigating the potential of nutrients in management of IBS, particularly vitamin D (Tazzyman et al., 2015; Sprake et al., 2012).

Appetite Biology: Regulation of intake is controlled at least in part by colon-released anorexigenic hormones, and we have a long-standing interest in reationships between diet, enteroendocrine cells and appetite and energy intake. A body of our work is involved in mythbusting the relationships (Holt et al., 2016), as well as developing new approaches to research in this area (Harden et al., 2012).


Current Projects

EPSRC PhD Studentship. Systems modelling of the effect of short-chain fatty acids on tubulin isoforms and cytoskeletal integrity. Steve Wilkinson [PI], Bernard Corfe.

Bardhan Research and Education Trust. Expression and acetylation of keratins 8 and 18 in colonic mucosa of patients with Ulcerative Colitis: role in pathogenesis of colitis-associated colorectal neoplasia and dysplasia. Alan Lobo [PI], Bernard Corfe, Debrata Majumdar - £22,000.

Obsidian Ltd/Welsh Assembly/Cardiff University: Metagenomic analysis of alteration in gut microflora in response to probiotics.

Publications

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Williams CE, Williams EA & Corfe BM (2018) Efficacy and comparative uptake rates of sublingual and capsular vitamin D preparations. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Vol. 77(OCE4) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matsell SL, Sanchez Garcia MA, Williams EA & Corfe BM (2018) Diet advice in colorectal cancer survivors - are we doing enough?. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Vol. 77(OCE1) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Brooks AJ, Rowse G, Peach EJ, Ryder AH, Lees R, Narula P, Corfe BM, Norman P & Lobo AJ (2017) PWE-055 Health-related behaviours in young people with inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory Bowel Disease RIS download Bibtex download
  • Noorwali EA, Beaumont JD, Corfe BM & Owen L (2017) The effects of probiotic supplementation on emotional memory and pain response. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Vol. 76(OCE1) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bond A, Greenwood R, Lewis S, Corfe B, Sarkar S, Rooney P & Probert C (2016) OC-048 The Use of Volatile Organic Compounds Emitted from Stool as a Biomarker for Colonic Neoplasia. Gut, Vol. 65(Suppl 1) (pp A28.1-A28) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Brooks AJ, Rowse G, Peach EJ, Ryder A, Narula P, Corfe BM, Norman P & Lobo AJ (2016) OC-087 Frequency of Health Risk Behaviours in Young People With Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gut, Vol. 65(Suppl 1) (pp A51.1-A51) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Holt GM, Owen LJ, Till S, Cheng Y, Grant VA, Harden CJ & Corfe BM (2016) Systematic Literature Review Shows That Appetite Rating does Not Predict Energy Intake. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Vol. 75(OCE3) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rosser R, Corfe BM & Chapple KS (2015) Analysis of Metachronous Adenoma Sites Suggest Proximal Occurrence is More Probable. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 102 (pp 73-73) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rosser R, Evans CE, Chapple KS & Corfe BM (2015) Identification of Altered Keratin in Cancerized Colonic Fields using Isobaric Tags for Relative and Absolute Quantification (iTRAQ) for protein profiling. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 102 (pp 60-60) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Brooks AJ, Rowse G, Ryder A, Narula P, Corfe BM, Norman P & Lobo AJ (2015) PTU-059 “i can cope right now, because i know where i have come from”; a qualitative exploration of the lived experience of young adults with inflammatory bowel disease. Gut, Vol. 64(Suppl 1) (pp A85.2-A86) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Assad-Sangabi A, Evans C, Majumdar D, Cross SS, Corfe BM & Lobo AJ (2015) PTU-070 The fate of epithelial keratins in recent-onset and long-standing colitis in remission. Gut, Vol. 64(Suppl 1) (pp A91.1-A91) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Assad-Sangabi A, Evans C, Majumdar D, Cross SS, Corfe BM & Lobo AJ (2015) PTU-069 The fate of epithelial keratins in active ulcerative colitis. Gut, Vol. 64(Suppl 1) (pp A90.2-A90) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Assadsangabi A, Evans C, Majumdar D, Cross SS, Corfe BM & Lobo AJ (2015) Keratin 8 Expression Is Reduced in Active Ulcerative Colitis Relative to Proximal Inactive Mucosa. GASTROENTEROLOGY, Vol. 148(4) (pp S547-S547) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moore JB, Spanos C, Fisher CP, Evans C, Corfe BM, Quaglia A, Fitzpatrick E & Dhawan A (2013) Hepatic Glyoxalase 1 is Downregulated and Hyperacetylated in Pediatric Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. HEPATOLOGY, Vol. 58 (pp 813A-814A) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wild JRL, Gunawardene AR, Staton CA, Chapple KS & Corfe BM (2013) Neuropilin-1 expression in the normal colon is enteroendocrine-like. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 100 (pp 123-123) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wild JRL, Staton CA, Chapple KS & Corfe BM (2013) Comparison and Optimisation of a strategy to isolate a single cell population of epithelial cells from the crypt compartment of the murine colon. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 100 (pp 99-99) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rosser R, Evans CE, Chapple KS & Corfe BM (2013) IDENTIFICATION OF ALTERED KERATIN LEVEL IN CANCERIZED COLONIC FIELDS USING ISOBARIC TAGS FOR RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE QUANTIFICATION (ITRAQ) FOR PROTEIN PROFILING. GUT, Vol. 62 (pp A198-A198) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rosser R, Corfe BM & Chapple KS (2013) ANALYSIS OF METACHRONOUS COLORECTAL ADENOMA SITES SUGGESTS PROXIMAL OCCURRENCE IS MORE PROBABLE. GUT, Vol. 62 (pp A229-A229) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Williams EA, Lai DYL, Bury JP, Riley SA, Plummer S, Marchesi JR & Corfe BM (2013) Cross-sectional analyses show no association between fibre intake and faecal butyrate level. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NUTRITION SOCIETY, Vol. 72(OCE4) (pp E235-E235) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bury JP, Riley S, Evans CA, Williams EA, Staton CA, Murabito E, Smallbone K & Corfe BM (2012) Why do Patients get Metachronous Colorectal Adenomas?. JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY, Vol. 228 (pp S3-S3) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Green NH, Nicholls Z, Heath PR, Highley JR, Cooper-Knock J, Corfe BM, Wilson JH, Rattray M, Liu X, MacNeil S & Bury JP (2012) Barrett's Metaplasia: Exploiting a Tissue-engineered Model to Understand the Response of the Oesophageal Squamous Mucosa to Bile and Acid Exposure. JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY, Vol. 228 (pp S3-S3) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Majumdar D, Evans C, Corfe BM & Lobo AJ (2012) Quantitative Proteomics in Ulcerative Colitis Reveals Mucosal Inflammation Reduces Levels of Keratins in the Insoluble Fraction of the Intermediate Filament Proteome. GASTROENTEROLOGY, Vol. 142(5) (pp S799-S800) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Majumdar D, Evans C, Corfe BM & Lobo AJ (2012) Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Intermediate Filament Profile in Ulcerative Colitis Reveals Increased Levels of Keratins 8, 18 and 19 in Patients With Longstanding Pan Colitis Which are Reduced With Development of Dysplasia. GASTROENTEROLOGY, Vol. 142(5) (pp S636-S636) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Khan AQ, Wild J, Nai X, Brown S, Staton C, Brown S & Corfe B (2012) Faecal butyrate levels have different effect on cancer and adenoma tissues: Suggestion of early beneficial role of butyrate during carcinogenesis. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 99 (pp 29-29) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wild JRL, Khan AQ, Li NX, Staton C, Chapple K & Corfe BM (2012) Neuropilin-1: A predictor of early carcinogenesis in the colonic epithelium. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 99 (pp 24-24) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Khan AQ, Waby JS, Brown S & Corfe B (2012) Short chain fatty acids regulate the structure and function of K8, A major cytoskeleton protein in colonocytes. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 99 (pp 30-30) RIS download Bibtex download
  • McGuinness C, O'Shea D, Gunawardene AR, Williams EA & Corfe BM (2011) The relationship between dietary micro and macronutrients intake and cell proliferation in the colon. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Vol. 70(OCE3) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Green N, Haque A, Corfe B, MacNeil S & Bury J (2010) Invasive behaviour of the OE33 oesophageal adenocarcinoma cell line is dependent on co-operation with fibroblasts.. JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY, Vol. 222 (pp S43-S43) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Khan AQ, Waby J, Brown SR & Corfe BM (2010) Keratin 8, a determinant of colonocyte function, is regulated at the expression and function level by short chain fatty acids. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 97 (pp 12-12) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Khan AQ, Waby J, Brown SR & Corfe BM (2010) Markers of epithelial mesenchymal transition precede morphological formation of colorectal adenoma. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SURGERY, Vol. 97 (pp 44-44) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Prais AL, Dive C & Corfe BM (2004) Butyrate-mediated cell cycle arrest of HCT116 colon carcinoma cells is accompanied by hyperploidy. GUMS AND STABILIZERS FOR THE FOOD INDUSTRY 12(294) (pp 535-538) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Chirakkal HC, Brookes KE, Prais AL & Corfe BM (2004) Butyrate-mediated apoptosis: Towards a mechanism of action. GUMS AND STABILIZERS FOR THE FOOD INDUSTRY 12(294) (pp 539-545) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moir A, Kemp EH, Robinson C & Corfe BM (1994) The genetic analysis of bacterial spore germination.. J Appl Bacteriol, Vol. 77(3) (pp 9S-16S). England RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moir A, Kemp EH, Robinson C & Corfe BM (1994) The genetic analysis of bacterial spore germination.. Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol. 76 (pp 9S-16S). ENGLAND RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moir A, Kemp EH, Robinson C & Corfe BM (1994) The genetic analysis of bacterial spore germination.. Soc Appl Bacteriol Symp Ser, Vol. 23 (pp 9S-16S). England RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

PhD Students

  • Vicky Grant
  • Dr Alenka Brooks
  • Tim Ingham Dempster
  • Claire Williams
  • Dr Gloria Tun
  • Dr Arash Assadsangabi
  • Jon Wild

MD Students

  • Sophie Matsell
  • Marina Sanchez
  • Sara Dedeche
  • James Cater

Research Team

  • Ms Joanna Chowdry

Clinical Trainees

  • Jayan George
  • Dr Suneil Raju
Teaching interests

I developed and lead Literature Review module for MSc Translational Oncology. I lead an In silico Oncology submodule for the MSc in Translational Oncology and I deliver the bioinformatics components of the cross-Faculty DDP in Proteomics-Informatics.
I previously developed and led the Literature Review Module in the MMedSci in Human Nutrition (2011), I developed and led the Research Skills Module (in 2011), which si used on Translational Oncology and Human nutrition, I developed and led the Molecular Nutrition Module (in 2008). Previously I led the Clinical Nutrition Module (in 2002) in the MMedSci in Human Nutrition.

I run a course for The Nutrition Society on Scientific Writing.

Professional activities

Editorial Board Member for Molecular Physiology and Cell Signalling, European Journal of Nutrition.

Scientific Theme Leader, Cellular and Molecular Nutrition, Nutrition Society.
Organiser of CPD accredited conferences on Diet and Microbiome2013 ; Diet and Mental Health, 2016; Diet and Cancer Survivorship, 2017
Member of the Training and Education Committee, Nutrition Society.
Training courses in Bioinformatics for Proteomics, Scientific Writing

Member of Steering Committee and Workstream Lead, NIHR Cancer and Nutrition Infrastructure Collaboration.
Associate Editor, International Journal of Experimental Pathology.
Associate Editor, Nutrition & Cancer.
Associate Editor, Journal of Integrated OMICS.

Consulted for: INSERM, Norgine Ltd.

Manuscript reviewer for: Gut, Oncogene, Journal of Proteome Research, American Journal of Physiology, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, British Journal of Pharmacology, Nutrition and Cancer, Diversity, Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, Cell Death and Differentiation, Nutrition Journal, British Journal of Cancer, International Journal of Cancer.

Grant reviewer for: BBSRC, MRC, AICR, Tenovus, WCRF.