Edinburgh Cancer Research

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

Virginia Alvarez Garcia Post-doctoral Scientist (with Margaret Frame)

Esme Bullock

PhD student

Giovana Carrasco Gonzalez

Post-doctoral Scientist

Jayne Culley

Research Assistant

Molly Danks

PhD student

Amy Davies

Post-doctoral Scientist

Meredyth Griffin PhD student

Martin Lee

Post-doctoral Scientist

Zeanap Mabruk

PhD student

Ander Maguregui

PhD student (with Alison Hulme)

Piotr Manasterski Post-doctoral Scientist
Laura McVeigh Post-doctoral Scientist (with Neil Carragher)

Morwenna Muir

Senior Technical Officer

Craig Steven PhD student (with Alison Hulme)

Emily Webb

Post-doctoral Scientist (with Margaret Frame)



PA: Jan.Irvine@ed.ac.uk

Scientific Themes

Metastasis, drug resistance, adhesion signalling

Technology Expertise

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