Dr Michelle Lawson

BSc, PhD, AFHEA

Department of Oncology and Metabolism

Lecturer in Bone and Cancer Biology

Michelle Lawson
m.a.lawson@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 215 9054

Full contact details

Dr Michelle Lawson
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
Office EU29, E Floor
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
Sheffield
S10 2RX
Profile

For enquiries, please contact - om-operationalteam@sheffield.ac.uk

I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1997 with a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology. I obtained my PhD in 2000 from the University of Bristol, after conducting my research at the Institute of Animal Health, investigating the use of cytokines as DNA vaccine adjuvants.

In 2000 I began my research career in the field of bone biology at the University of Oxford. While there I developed various biomaterials for bone scaffolding and a novel technique to measure the bone binding affinities of bisphosphonates, drugs used in the prevention of bone disease.

In 2005 I moved back to the University of Sheffield where I worked in Professor Peter Croucher’s Bone Biology Group in the Department of Human Metabolism. My research involved looking at the effects of bisphosphonates in preclinical models of multiple myeloma. In addition, I developed a novel multiphoton microscopy technique to allow the visualization of single dormant cancer cells in bone. This work led to the identification of several key molecules involved in the early stages of myeloma-induced bone disease.  In 2012, I became a Research Fellow and in 2018 a Lecturer in Cancer & Bone Biology in the Department of Oncology and I now lead my own research group.

Research interests

My main research interests are myeloma-induced bone disease and dormant tumour cells. Over the last 15 years I have developed and established several preclinical murine models of myeloma to study therapeutic agents in the early, mid and late stages of the disease. This has led to an increased understanding of the role of the bone marrow microenvironment and how it influences tumour growth and/or dormancy. I am currently investigating the use of standard of care anti-myeloma drugs in combination with bone modulating agents to repair myeloma-induced bone disease; and using existing or novel agents to target dormant myeloma cells in the bone marrow microenvironment, with the aim of translating these findings into patients. In this area I have published 5 book chapters, 6 review articles and over 30 research articles.

Publications

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Journal articles

Chapters

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Journal articles

Chapters

Conference proceedings papers

Grants
  1. NC3Rs studentship award (2021-2023). Development and validation of 3D in vitro dormant myeloma cell models to reduce and replace animal studies. Dr M.A. Lawson & Dr Chantry (£90,00) NC/V00137X/1
  2. Sheffield Hospitals Charity Project Award (2020-2021). Oncolytic advenovirus therapy for multiple myeloma. Dr Chantry & Dr M.A. Lawson (£41,143.5). No. 202014
  3. Sheffield Hospitals Charity Project Award (2020-2021). Assessing SD208 (a novel bone anabolic agent) as equivalent or superior in the treatment of myeloma bone; an in vivo explorative study. Dr R. Andrews, Dr Chantry & Dr M.A. Lawson (£41,000). 163969
  4. Oxford Biomedica (2019-2020) Clinical collaboration using CAR-T cells therapy. Dr M. A. Lawson (£13,400).
  5. Shin Poong Pharma (2017-2018). Testing a potential bone anabolic agent (SP-35454) in multiple myeloma, Dr M. A. Lawson (£140,000).
  6. Bone Cancer Research Trust (2015-2018). PhD studentship: Purinergic Signalling in Osteosarcoma, Dr A. Gartland & Dr M.A. Lawson (£147,000). BCRT Grant No. 44/15.
  7. British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (2106-218) Project Grant: Investigating the potential of statins to prevent and treat Anti-Resorptive agent induced Osteonecrosis of the Jaw, Dr M. A. Lawson, Ibraz Siddique & Alasdair McKechnie (£6384).
  8. Sheffield Blood Cancer Trust (2015). High potency, low affinity bisphosphonates pilot study, Dr A. Chantry, Dr M.A. Lawson, Prof. J. Snowden& Prof R.G.G. Russell (£8,000).
  9. Sheffield Hospitals Charity (2015). Investigating changes in the tumour bone microenvironment during the development of multiple myeloma and testing novel strategies for clinical intervention. Dr M.A. Lawson, J. Paton-Hough (Sheffield) & Dr F. Errington-Mais (University of Leeds) (£4,739).
  10. Bloodwise Project Grant (2018-2020). Targeting BMP signalling in the MGUS/MM bone microenvironment. Dr C. Edwards, Dr K. Ramasamy, Dr M.A. Lawson, H. Drakesmith, Dr S. Gooding & R. Kumar grant (£249,691). Grant no. 17012.
  11. Bloodwise Project Grant Investigating (2016-2019). E3 Ligase HUWE1 as a therapeutic target in multiple myeloma.Dr A. Irvine, Dr M.A. Lawson, M. Pearson, Dr L. Crawford, Prof M. Eilers & Dr A. Chantry (£202,080).Grant no. 15043.
  12. Bloodwise Project Grant (2015-2018). Preclinical testing of low dose valproate and niclosamide (VaN) as a novel anti-myeloma therapy. Dr F. Khanim, Dr M.A. Lawson& Prof. M Drayson (£245,864). Grant No. 15025.
  13. Bloodwise Specialist Programme Grant (2013-2018). Novel targets and therapeutic combinations in myeloma. Dr A. Chantry, Dr M.A. Lawson & Prof. J. Snowden (£1,142,591). Grant No. 12053.
Teaching interests

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and the Postgraduate Research (PGR) Lead in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism. I am also a Module Lead for the MSc (Res) in Translational Oncology course and I regularly lecture on the Molecular Medicine MSc course on in vitro and in vivo models of bone cancer. I frequently supervise laboratory research projects for PhD, MSc, BMedSci, SSC, Erasmus and Hallam placement students.

Professional activities

I am an executive committee member of the UK Myeloma Forum (UKMF) and the Treasurer of the Bone Research Society (BRS). Due to the latter, I have organized 2 BRS workshops on Basic Bone & Joint Biology (University of Sheffield, November 2017 and 2019). I am also a member of the International Bone and Mineral Society and Cancer & Bone Society and I have been an invited speaker and session chair at several national and international conferences.

Public engagement activities

I have also been involved in a number of public engagement activities. I have secured funding that enabled me to build a “Giant Interactive Bone” to educate children of all ages on what is inside their bones. In addition, I regularly participate in Outreach activities with a variety of school children to teach them about why their bones are so important. I frequently do laboratory tours for fundraisers and patients with bone cancer, and I also participate in patient panel meetings to improve the services at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.