Professor Nicola J Brown BSc, DipEd, PhDNicola Brown

Department of Oncology & Metabolism
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

Office: GU22

Tel: +44 (0) 114 215 9001
Fax: +44 (0) 114 271 3314



Following the award of a Doctor of Philosophy in 1997 from the Department of Physiology, University of Sheffield, I continued my research training as a Postdoctoral scientist for a further 6 years. In 1991, I joined the Department of Surgery, University of Sheffield as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, to establish and equip a Microcirculation Research Unit to investigate the role of angiogenesis and tumour microcirculation in cancer therapy. The success of the Laboratory was recognised by the Vice Chancellor as part of the Research Stimulation Exercise following the 1992 RAE, with the subsequent award of a new Non-Clinical Lecturer post to the Department of Surgery, to which I was appointed in 1994. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1999, Reader in 2000 and Professor of Microcirculation Biology in 2003 and am Head of the Microcirculation Reserach Group. I have established expertise in angiogenesis in tumour and wound biology and the development and modulation of novel therapies for angiogenesis-dependent disorders. Publications include 6 book chapters, 130 refereed journal articles, reviews and conference proceedings published and in press, and more than 450 refereed abstracts. My research programme is funded by competitively awarded grants, with total current research income as principal and co-investigator on 15 awards, from research councils and charitable sources approximately £5 million. The reputation and expertise of the research group has resulted in invitations to speak at international and national meetings, give seminars and present regularly at scientific and clinical conferences. I review manuscripts for scientific journals including Cancer Research, British Journal of Cancer, Gastroenterology, Gut and American Journal of Physiology, and grant applications for the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC), Association for International Cancer Research, The Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Campaign, Yorkshire Cancer Research. I am a member of the Editorial Board for Journal of Vascular Research and the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, and have international, national and local collaborations.

Research Interests

My research interests are mechanisms of physiological and pathophysiological angiogenesis in wound healing and tumour progression and the role of anti-angiogenic and anti-vascular strategies for the treatment of angiogenesis dependent disorders.

The principal objective and research strategy of the Microcirculation Research Group is to investigate the mechanisms regulating tumour angiogenesis in preinvasive to invasive cancer progression and how this may be targeted for therapy. The facility contains state-of-the-art specialised fluorescent in vivo microscopy and multiphoton microscopy which allows real-time imaging of blood vessel development, blood flow, leucocyte-endothelial and tumour-endothelial interactions, in a variety of preclinical in vivo models, in addition to a panel of in vitro angiogenesis assays. The clinical study of human tissue, both normal and breast cancer are complemented by laboratory based modeling, both basic and applied.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests are angiogenesis, microcirculation, anti-vascular and anti-angiogenic therapeutic strategies.

Professional Activities

British Association for Cancer Research, Executive Committee 2007-2009
British Association for Cancer Research, Sub-committee for Training & Meetings 2007-2009
Medical Research Council Clinical Training & Fellowship Panel 2006 –
British Microcirculation Society, Treasurer 2005-2009; Committee Member 2002-2005
Editorial Board Journal of Vascular Research 2005 - ;
Photochemistry and Photobiology 2003-

Current Projects

Mechanisms of angiogenesis in preinvasive and invasive breast cancer
Role of neural guidance molecules in physiological and pathophysiological angiogenesis
Vascular targeting in breast cancer and sarcomas - funded by the Breast Cancer Campaign and Yorkshire Cancer Research
Role of angiogenesis in bone metastasis - funded by EU Framework VI consortium PROMET and Yorkshire Cancer Research
Vascular targeting and imaging - funded by Cancer Research UK/EPSRC/DOH
Role of stress proteins in the breast tumour microenvironment - funded by the Breast Cancer Campaign

Key publications

For a full list of publications please visit myPublications