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 the tumour microenvironment.

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


val brunton lab 2018


Val Brunton

Principal Investigator and Professor of Cancer Therapeutics

Georgia Dodd

PhD student

Meredyth Griffin

PhD student with Donald Salter

Laura Gomez-Cuadrado

PhD student

Kristel Sepp

PhD student with Alison Hulme

Anastasia Kapara

PhD student with Karen Faulds, University of Strathclyde

Martin Lee

Post-doctoral Scientist

Henry Beetham

Post-doctoral Scientist

Jayne Culley

Research Assistant

Morwenna Muir

Research Assistant

Emily Webb

Post-doctoral Scientist with Margaret Frame

Roza Masalmeh  Post-doctoral Scientist with Margaret Frame
Virginia Alvarez Garcia Post-doctoral Scientist with Margaret Frame



Scientific Themes

Metastasis, drug resistance, adhesion signalling

Technology Expertise

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