Dr William R English (BSc, PhD)

Research Fellow

CR-UK/YCR Sheffield Cancer Research Centre,
CR-UK Tumour Microcirculation Group,
Department of Oncology,
The Medical School,
Beech Hill Road,
S10 2RX,

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 271 2133
Fax: +44 (0) 114 271 3314

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 in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. I moved to the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute as a Senior Research Associate in 2007. In 2011 I joined the CR-UK Tumour Microcirculation Group at the University of Sheffield as a Research Fellow.

Research Interests

The main focus of my research is how mesenchymal cells such as pericytes and tumour or carcinoma-associated fibroblasts regulate the tumour microenvironment and response to anti-vascular therapies.

Teaching Interests

I currently supervise research projects on the MSc in Molecular Medicine and BMedSci courses. I will teach on Module 3 and 5 of the new MSc (Res) in Translational Oncology starting in September 2013.

Current Projects

  • Identifying the underlying mechanisms regulating the increase in tumour-associated fibroblasts and extracellular matrix in sarcomas resistant to vascular disrupting agents
  • Developing novel ovarian cancer cell lines as models of resistance to anti-vascular agents
  • Developing in vitro models of the tumour microenvironment for studying tumour and carcinoma-associated fibroblasts
  • Studying the origin and function of carcinoma-associated fibroblasts in vivo

Current Funding

  • English, WR. and Tozer, GM. CR-UK/YCR Sheffield Cancer Research Centre Award 01/10/12 – 30/09/12. Development of a model system for the study of tumour associated fibroblasts. £4,800.
  • English, WR. and Tozer, GM. YCR Pump Priming Award. 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2013. Genetic Engineering of Ovarian Cancer Cells to Identify Resistance Mechanisms to Anti-Vascular Agents. £43,151.
  • English, WR., Kanthou, C and Claeyssens, F. CR-UK/YCR Sheffield Cancer Research Centre Award 01/08/13 – 31/07/2014. Understanding metastasis through the study of cell migration on engineered surfaces. £4,800.

Key Publications

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.