Dr Pedro Cutillas

Dr Pedro Cutillas

BSc, PhD
Centre: Haemato-Oncology
Reader in Cell Signalling and Proteomics
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We use unique proteomics and computational approaches to understand signalling heterogeneity in cancer. Increasing this knowledge will be invaluable in advancing personalized cancer therapies.


Research Details

I am interested in understanding how cell signalling pathways driven by the activity of protein kinases contribute to the development of cancer. Signalling pathways do not work in isolation but form a complex network of biochemical reactions that integrate extracellular signals into a coordinated cell biological response.

Essentially all cancers deregulate one or several components of this biochemical network, but unfortunately, cancers are heterogeneous in the way signalling is perturbed. In practice, this means that novel targeted therapies against signalling nodes do not work equally well in all patients. Even those patients that initially respond eventually develop resistance.

To understand the mechanisms underlying this heterogeneity, I developed methodology based on a technique named mass spectrometry and on computational science. These techniques can be used to measure how the signalling network is wired in individual cancer populations in a comprehensive and unbiased manner.

My group is now using these unique resources to investigate the fundamental properties of signalling networks and to understand how signalling heterogeneity in cancer (with particular focus on haematological malignancies) contribute to intrinsic and acquired resistance to compounds that target signalling enzymes.

Also in this group:

  • Ms Vinothini Rajeeve (Mass Spectrometrist)


I graduated with a PhD in 2004 from UCL. My studies (completed in the laboratories of Prof Mike Waterfield, Prof Rainer Cramer and Prof Al Burlingame) were on a project that investigated kidney physiology and were supervised by Prof Robert Unwin. I then completed postdoctoral training at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (UCL branch).

In 2007, I became lecturer at the Centre for Cell Signalling and in 2010 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer. After a period in the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (2012-2013), where I was Head of the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, I joined the Centre for Haemoto-Oncology in 2013 where I now lead the Integrative Cell Signalling and Proteomics Group.


Only grants awarded as Principal Investigator are listed:

2009 – 2014 Barts and The London Charity £492,000
2011 – 2013 European commission £110,000
2011 E.P.O.S. IASIS Research & Development Ltd "Molecular biomarkers of response to multifunctional compounds of cynanine with Quinazolines and combined imaging and therapeutic properties"
2009 - 2012 BBSRC £392,000
2008 - 2011 Cancer Research UK £180,000
2008 The Heptagon Proof of Concept Fund £74,000
2007 - 2009 Barts and the London Charity £108,000

Key Publications

Casado P, Alcolea MP, Iorio F, Rodriguez-Prados JC, Saez-Rodriguez J, Vanhaesebroeck B, Joel S, Cutillas PR. Phosphoproteomics data classify haematological cancer cell lines according to tumour type and sensitivity to kinase inhibitors. Genome Biology 2013; 13:R37 PMID: 23628362

Casado, P, Rodríguez-Prados JC, Cosulich SC, Guichard, S, Vanhaesebroeck B, Joel S, Cutillas PR. Kinase-Substrate Enrichment Analysis provides insights into the heterogeneity of signaling pathway activation in leukemia cells. Science Signaling 2013; 3: rs6 PMID: 23532336 - This article was selected for a special issue of Science Magazine dedicated to Cancer Genomics

Alcolea MP, Casado P, Rodríguez-Prados JC, Vanhaesebroeck B, Cutillas PR. Phosphoproteomic analysis of leukemia cells under basal and drug-treated conditions identifies markers of kinase pathway activation and mechanisms of resistance. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Aug;11(8):453-66. PMCID: PMC3412974.

Beltran L, Chaussade C, Vanhaesebroeck B, Cutillas PR. Calpain interacts with class IA phosphoinositide 3-kinases regulating their stability and signaling activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108(39):16217-22. PMCID: PMC3182684.

Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here.

We use unique proteomics and computational approaches to understand signalling heterogeneity in cancer. Increasing this knowledge will be invaluable in advancing personalized cancer therapies.


External Activities


  • September 2015: Collaborative study with the EMBL Institute published in Nature Communications
  • June 2015: Paper published in PNAS on cancer's "social network" - kinase signalling
  • March 2015: Grants awarded for proteomics in cancer therapy projects by the BBSRC & Barts Charity
  • October 2014: Barry Reed PhD studentship awarded for Arran Dokal
  • October 2013: Invited Keynote Speaker at the Human Proteome Organisation 13th Annual World Congress in Madrid
  • September 2013: Activiomics, a BCI spin-out company, Extends Research Agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin
  • November 2013: Invited speaker at the NCRI conference
  • June 2012: Organised the 9th Proteomics Methods Forum
  • May 2012: Our study on phosphoproteomic analysis featured on Genomeweb
  • May 2012: Attended the 60th American Society for Mass Spectrometry conference

See other researchers working on:

Bioinformatics Blood cancers Cell Signalling Metabolism
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