Dr Angus James Cameron

PhD
Lecturer
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QMUL Directory


Protein kinases represent the largest group of drug targets in cancer therapy. My research focuses on kinases regulating cancer cell growth and motility to understand how and when to target them with drugs.

Research Details

The targeting of protein kinases represents an opportunity and challenge in cancer treatment. Some 2% of transcribed genes are kinases, many implicated in tumorigenesis and all potentially druggable.

My research encompasses various cancer associated kinases, including PKC, PKN, mTOR and EGFR family tyrosine kinases. In particular, my work on PKC and the HER family of tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors has revealed that inhibitors can have surprising allosteric effects on kinase function with significant implications for therapy.

My group is currently examining the role of the PKN kinases in malignant progression. PKN kinases are effectors of Rho family GTPases, regulating cell shape, adhesion and motility. Our studies on the role for PKN family members in mammalian development has provided significant insight; we have described a key non-redundant role for the PKN2 isoform in the regulation of embryo morphogenesis, cell proliferation and migration; phenotypes critically linked to cancer progression (Cell Reports 2016).

The PKN kinases are dramatically upregulated in many cancers and high expression has been correlated with metastatic disease – the spread of cancer around the body. Our current studies focus on the stromal roles for the PKN kinases in pancreatic and breast cancer, supported by the novel roles we have discovered for PKN during development.

The ultimate goal of this research is to assess whether these kinases represent a significant cancer drug target.

Profile

I completed my BSc in biochemistry at the University of Bath where I got hooked on research while working on a placement year in the US on protein phosphatases and virology.

I studied for my PhD in Glasgow on a Wellcome Trust Prize studentship working on receptor mediated signal transduction, graduating in 2000. After completing a 2 years Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellowship in Glasgow, I joined Professor Peter Parker’s lab at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute where I studied the role PKC family protein kinases in development and cancer.

I joined Barts Cancer Institute in 2013 as an Early Career Researcher in the Centre for Tumour Biology.

Funding

March 2018 – March 2021: £235,000 - Worldwide Cancer Research Project Grant. "Targeting stromal activation in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma"

Jan 2017 - Jan 2019 - £100,000: Academy of Medical Sciences/Wellcome Trust Springboard Award. "Defining the role of PKN kinases in cancer-associated fibroblasts"

Oct 2015 - Sept 2018: £24,000 - Rosetrees Trust – Research grant

Oct 2015 – Sept 2018: £80,000 - CRUK PhD studentship - Elizabeth Murray

Oct 2014 – Sept 2017: £70,000 - MRC PhD studentship - Priththivika Baskaran

Key Publications

Hurst CD, Alder O, Platt FM, Droop A, Stead LF, Burns JE, Burghel GJ, Jain S, Klimczak LJ, Lindsay H, Roulson J, Taylor CF, Thygesen H, Cameron AJ, Ridley AJ, Mott HR, Gordenin DA, Knowles MA. Genomic subtypes of non-invasive bladder cancer with distinct metabolic profile, clinical outcome and female gender bias in KDM6A mutation frequency. Cancer Cell. 2017; 32, 701–715 PMID: 29136510

Cameron AJ*, Veeriah S, Marshall JT, Larijani, B and Parker, PJ. Uncoupling TORC2 from AGC kinases inhibits tumour growth. Oncotarget 2017. 2017; 8:84685-84696. *First and Corresponding author. Oncotarget

Quetier I, Marshall JT, Lachmann S, Casamassima A, Spencer-Dene B, Franco C, Worrall J, Rajeeve V, Howell M, Rosewell I, Cutillas P, Gerhardt H, Parker PJ, & Cameron AJ. Knockout of the PKN family of Rho effector kinases reveals a non-redundant role for PKN2 in developmental mesoderm expansion. Cell Reports. 2016 Jan 6. pii: S2211-1247(15) 01490-4. PMID: 26774483

Cameron AJ, Linch MD, Saurin AT, Escribano C, Parker PJ. mTORC2 targets AGC kinases through Sin1-dependent recruitment. Biochem J. 2011 Oct 15;439(2):287-97. PMID: 21806543

Cameron AJ, Escribano C, Saurin AT, Kostelecky B, Parker PJ. PKC maturation is promoted by nucleotide pocket occupation independently of intrinsic kinase activity. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2009;16(6):624-30 PMID: 19465915


Further Publications

Additional publications are available here


Protein kinases represent the largest group of drug targets in cancer therapy. My research focuses on kinases regulating cancer cell growth and motility to understand how and when to target them with drugs.

External Activities

Member of the Biochem Journal Editorial Panel

Advisory Board Member - European Pharma Summit- Design & Screening conference 2017

Vice-chair BCI Communications Committee

Athena Swan Committee member - Silver Award 2015

News

  • November 2017 - I contributed to an important new study in Cancer Cell describing the genomic landscape of Bladder Cancer.
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