Dr William R English (BSc, PhD)

Research FellowWill English

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

Office: FU18, The Medical School

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 271 2133

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

I am a member of the Tumour Microcirculation Group.  My research interests focus on how the tumour microenvironment regulates tumour biology, with a particular focus on vascular biology and response to anti-vascular agents.  Current research investigates how mesenchymal cells such as pericytes and carcinoma-associated fibroblasts may regulate tumour growth, metastasis and response to therapy.


I teach on Module 1, 3 and 5 of the MSc in Translational Oncology and act as deputy module leader for module 1.  I supervise research projects on the MSc in Molecular Medicine, MSc in Translational Oncology and BMedSci courses.

Current Projects

  • Developing novel ovarian cancer cell lines as models of resistance to anti-vascular agents
  • Developing in vitro models of the tumour microenvironment for studying carcinoma-associated fibroblasts
  • Studying the origin and function of carcinoma-associated fibroblasts in vivo

Recent 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.
  • Tozer, GM., English, WR., Kanthou, C. and Hatton, M. CR-UK NAC Award 01/06/14 – 28/02/15. Antibody-based VEGF receptor 2 inhibition in combination with radiotherapy: influence of VEGF isoforms and related microenvironmental factors. £50,000.

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.