Dr Nasreen Akhtar


Department of Oncology and Metabolism

Lecturer in Developmental Cell Biology

+44 114 215 9059

Full contact details

Dr Nasreen Akhtar
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
JW4/60, Level 4
Jessop Wing
Tree Root Walk
S10 2SF

For enquiries please contact - iicd-om-operational@sheffield.ac.uk

I completed my PhD and my first post-doctoral position at the University of Birmingham, School of Cancer Sciences and School of Biosciences respectively, followed by a Senior Scientist position at the University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences.

In 2013, I joined the University of Sheffield, Medical School as a Thomas-Berry & Simpson Fellow to establish an independent research career and in September 2018 I became a Lecturer.

Research interests

My lab focuses on how cell-matrix adhesions and Rho family GTPases regulate epithelial polarity and morphogenesis of normal breast tissue and how these signals are subverted in breast cancer.

We are studying the mechanisms by which integrin signals guide tissue morphogenesis at three levels: First, how integrins instruct epithelial cells to polarize and form lumen spaces within tissues; second, how integrin-mediated mechanical forces engineer the morphogenetic tissue shapes of a branched epithelium and third, how integrins direct the spatial ordering of different mammary cell lineages to form the correct tissue structure.

Mammary tissue forms a network of branched ducts connected to alveoli with hollow lumens, similar to many other secretory organs. We use Cre-LoxP genetic deletion both in vivo and in primary 3D organoid cultures of mammary epithelia, to unravel the relative contribution of integrins and GTPases to mammary tissue organization and function.


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Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Research group
  • Mai Shafei (Research Associate)
  • Matthew Fisher (Technician)
  • Priya Narayanan (PhD student)
  • Aida Aide Luna Perez (PhD student).


Medical Research Council
Wellcome Trust
Thomas, Berry and Simpson Fellowship

Teaching interests

I teach on the MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Medicine and I am Deputy Module Lead on the Research Skills module within this course.