Department of Pathology

News and Events

Notes from Makeni: Fighting Ebola in West Africa

Professor Ian Goodfellow is helping the efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Read more

Cancer cell fingerprints in the blood may speed up childhood cancer diagnosis

Newly-identified cancer cell fingerprints in the blood could one day help doctors diagnose a range of children's cancers faster and more accurately.

Reaearch lead by Dr Matthew Murray and Professor Nicholas Coleman has uncovered the fingerprints left by the tumours by analysing blood samples from children when they were diagnosed with cancer. Read more

Professor Nick Coleman elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences

We congratulate Professor Nick Coleman on his election as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. The Academy is the independent body in the UK that represents the diverse spectrum of medical science, from research to healthcare delivery. Fellowship of the Academy is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of medical science.

Nick works on early cancer detection and has developed an improved cervical 'smear' test that is now in clinical use. His group has also made important discoveries concerning the pathogenesis of squamous cell carcinomas and germ cell tumours, leading to promising new approaches to the treatment and diagnosis of these cancers.

Vassilis Koronakis elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Vassilis Koronakis, Professor of Molecular Biology and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator in the Department, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. The Academy ‘recognizes excellence, originality, and creativity in the microbiological sciences’. More

Published in Nature - Building nano-machines in biological outer space

Scientists in the Department’s Microbiology Unit have solved a long-standing mystery confounding both biologists and physicists - how are long flagella ‘propellers’ built far outside the biological cell where there is no conventional energy source ?

In the journal Nature Dr Lewis Evans et al publish their Wellcome Trust-funded research, led by Dr Gillian Fraser and Professor Colin Hughes, which uncovers a simple and elegant ‘chain mechanism’ harnessing the entropic force generated by the unfolded subunits themselves. More

Evans LDB, Poulter S, Terentjev EM, Hughes C & Fraser GM (2013) A chain mechanism for flagellum growth. Nature DOI 10.1038/nature1268.

Scientists find mutant protein blocks HIV infection and transmission.

A mutant of an immune cell protein called ADAP (adhesion and degranulation-promoting adaptor protein) is able to block infection by HIV-1, new University of Cambridge research reveals. The researchers, who were funded by the Wellcome Trust, believe that their discovery will lead to new ways of combatting HIV.

Genetic mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease

Dr Heike Laman and a team of research colleagues have discovered how genetic mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease might play a key role in the death of brain cells. The research was published in Nature Neuroscience. More

Scientists discover a molecular ‘switch’ in cancers of the testis and ovary

Professor Nick Coleman and Dr Matthew Murray have discovered an 'on/off' switch in a type of cancer which typically occurs in the testes and ovaries called 'malignant germ cell tumour'. The research was published on the 1 August in the journal Cancer Research. More

Many congratulations to Dr Stacey Efstathiou who has been promoted to Professor from 1st October 2013 and has accepted the position of Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of General Virology.

Cambridge scientists’ mission to destroy cancer ‘queen bees’

A team of University of Cambridge scientists, led by Dr Suzanne Turner, has been granted £390,000 by the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to develop ways of attacking types of cancer cells described as the ‘queen bees’ of childhood lymphoma.

Suzanne Turner More

Developing Rapid Responses to Emerging Virus Infections of Poultry

Over £6.2M BBSRC funding has been awarded to develop rapid responses to emerging poultry viruses. The funding boost will also help to establish the next generation of poultry virologists, to work in a scientific area where the UK has traditionally been strong. More

Hope for threatened Tasmanian devils

Research paves way for the development of a vaccine for the contagious cancer which is driving Tasmanian devils to the brink of extinction. When interviewed by the BBC, Dr Hannah Siddle said "Developing a vaccine based on our research could tip the balance in the favour of the devil and give them a fighting chance."


Harnessing the power of the virus

The clever ways viruses have for evading our immune system are under scrutiny. Exposing their secrets is leading to a new armoury in our fight against disease.


Cambridge named one of Wellcome Trust's Centres for Global Health Research

Professor David Dunne, Director of the Cambridge Centre, said: “The strengthening of Africa’s indigenous scientific research base is crucial to the identification of its disease control and public health priorities, to the discovery and successful application of appropriate solutions, as well as to overall development."


Many congratulations to Professor Ming Du who has been awarded the Prof R Goudie’s lecture and medal by the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Iceland. The Goudie Lecturer is a distinguished active scientist who is making seminal contributions to pathological science and the understanding of disease mechanisms. As part of this award Professor Du gave a Goudie Lecture on MALT Lymphoma: Many Pathways Lead to NF-kB Activation at the recent PathSoc meeting (8th Jan 2013) in Utrecht, Netherlands.