Dr William R English (BSc, PhD)Will English

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

Office: FU32, The Medical School

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 271 3454

Email: w.english@sheffield.ac.uk


After completing my PhD in biochemistry in 1996 at Kent University I worked in the EMBL Structural Biology Department in Heidelberg before joining the University of East Anglia in 1997.  I then moved to the University of Cambridge in 2002 where I gained a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Research Fellowship within the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research.  I moved to the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute as a Senior Research Associate in 2007.  I joined the Tumour Microcirculation Group at the University of Sheffield in 2011 and became a University of Sheffield Research Fellow in 2013.


My research is focused on understanding how the tumour microenvironment regulates cancer biology, with a particular focus on vascular biology. My projects use in vitro and in vivo models of sarcoma and ovarian cancer to understand how the tumour microenvironment regulates response and resistance to anti-vascular agents, and in turn how this impacts on metastasis.

I also collaborate with the Department of Materials Science in the Faculty of Engineering to develop synthetic vascular constructs to support tissue engineering applications and the development of artificial tumour microenvironments

Current projects include:

  • Development of novel ovarian cancer cell lines using gene editing technology to understand response and resistance to anti-vascular therapy
  • Developing in vitro and in vivo models of the tumour microenvironment to study the role of carcinoma and sarcoma-associated fibroblasts in tumour biology and response to therapy
  • Development of complex in vitro 3-dimensional vascularised cancer microenvironments


I teach on several modules of the MSc(Res) in Translational Oncology and act as deputy module leader for module 1. I also teach on the MSc(Res) in Molecular Medicine and I supervise research projects on MSc(Res) and BMedSci courses.

Key Publications

  1. Kanthou, C., Dachs, G.U., Lefley, D.V., Steele, A.J., Coralli-Foxon, C., Harris, S., Greco, O., Dos Santos, S.A., Reyes-Aldasoro, C.C., English, W.R. and Tozer, G.M. (2014)  Tumour cells expressing single VEGF isoforms display distinct growth, survival and migration characteristics.  PLoS One 9, e104015, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104015.
  2. English WR, Corvol P & Murphy G (2012)  LPS activates ADAM9 dependent shedding of ACE from endothelial cells.  Biochem Biophys Res Commun 421, 70-75, doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.03.113.
  3. Correa de Sampaio P, Auslaender D, Krubasik D, Failla AV, Skepper JN, Murphy G & English WR (2012)  A heterogeneous in vitro three dimensional model of tumour-stroma interactions regulating sprouting angiogenesis.  PLoS One 7, e30753, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030753.
  4. Basu B, Correa de Sampaio P, Mohammed H, Fogarasi M, Corrie P, Watkins NA, Smethurst PA, English WR, Ouwehand WH & Murphy G (2012)  Inhibition of MT1-MMP activity using functional antibody fragments selected against its hemopexin domain.  Int J Biochem Cell Biol 44, 393-403, doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2011.11.015.
  5. Winder DM, Chattopadhyay A, Muralidhar B, Bauer J, English WR, Zhang X, Karagavriilidou K, Roberts I, Pett MR, Murphy G, et al. (2011)  Overexpression of the oncostatin M receptor in cervical squamous cell carcinoma cells is associated with a pro-angiogenic phenotype and increased cell motility and invasiveness.  J Pathol 225, 448-462, doi: 10.1002/path.2968.
  6. McGinn OJ, English WR, Roberts S, Ager A, Newham P & Murphy G (2011)  Modulation of integrin alpha4beta1 by ADAM28 promotes lymphocyte adhesion and transendothelial migration.  Cell Biol Int 35, 1043-1053, doi: 10.1042/CBI20100885.
  7. Roghi C, Jones L, Gratian M, English WR & Murphy G (2010)  Golgi reassembly stacking protein 55 interacts with membrane-type (MT) 1-matrix metalloprotease (MMP) and furin and plays a role in the activation of the MT1-MMP zymogen.  Febs J 277, 3158-3175, doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07723.x.
  8. Eisenach PA, Roghi C, Fogarasi M, Murphy G & English WR (2010)  MT1-MMP regulates VEGF-A expression through a complex with VEGFR-2 and Src.  J Cell Sci 123, 4182-4193, doi: 10.1242/jcs.062711.
  9. Krubasik D, Eisenach PA, Kunz-Schughart LA, Murphy G & English WR (2008)  Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor induces endothelial capillary formation through induction of membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase expression in vitro.  International journal of cancer 122, 1261-1272.