Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre

Val Brunton

Signalling and the regulation of cancer growth and metastasis

Professor Val Brunton - Professor of Cancer Therapeutics

Research in a Nutshell 

Tumour cells metastasise via a series of discrete biological processes that allow cells to disseminate from the primary tumour, move and colonise distant sites within the body. Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms whereby tumour cells can metastasise and in particular how adhesion networks drive metastatic spread. More recently we have also become interested in how these same adhesion pathways regulate drug resistance.

We use a range of protein/peptide technologies, genetic intervention and high-definition biological analysis including mouse models of cancer and quantitative intra-vital imaging that permits visualisation of multiple cancer cell phenotypes in vivo. This provides information on the molecular regulators of cancer processes linked to invasion, metastasis and survival in the tumour environment and allows us to monitor drug efficacy and mechanism of action of new molecularly targeted agents to enable identification of more effective treatments.


Research Programme


V.Brunton group


Val Brunton

Principal Investigator and Professor of Cancer Therapeutics

Ifigenia Stavrou

PhD student/Research Assistant (with Margaret Frame)

Laura Gomez-Cuadrado

PhD Student

Will Tipping

PhD student/Research Assistant (with Alison Hulme)

Natasha Tracey

PhD Student

Hila Emmert

Post-doctoral Scientist

Morwenna Muir

Research Assistant

Jun Li

Research Assistant (with Margaret Frame)
Hitesh Patel   Post Doctoral Scientist (with Neil Carragher and Margaret Frame)
Kristel Sepp PhD student (with Alison Hulme)
Ms Anastasia Kapara   PhD student (With Karen Faulds, University of Strathclyde)



Scientific Themes

Metastasis, drug resistance, adhesion signalling

Technology Expertise

Mouse models of cancer, multimodal fluorescence and Raman imaging, cell biology