Dr Adam Byron (CBiol MRSB AFHEA)

Research Fellow


Dr Adam Byron is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, University of Edinburgh. His research develops and implements proteomic approaches to investigate mechanisms of cancer cell adhesion.

Adam studied Biochemistry at the University of Warwick and was selected to spend an Intercalated Year of his degree working at AstraZeneca. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester, where he studied cell adhesion in the laboratory of Professor Martin Humphries, and where he stayed to undertake postdoctoral work. Here, he developed methodologies for the isolation and proteomic analysis of integrin adhesion complexes, which led to the description of the first experimentally defined integrin proteomes and insight into the complexity of the molecular machinery of cell adhesion. He then moved to the research group of Professor Margaret Frame at the University of Edinburgh, where he used integrative 'omic approaches to investigate the dysregulation of cell adhesion proteins in cancer.

Adam received the 2009 Early Career Investigator Award from the British Society for Proteome Research and the 2010 Young Investigator Award from the British Society for Matrix Biology. In 2013, he was awarded Chartered Biologist status by the Royal Society of Biology and Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.


  • PhD Biochemistry, 2004–2008 (University of Manchester with Professor Martin Humphries) (CASE Award with GlaxoSmithKline)
  • BSc (Hons) First Class Biochemistry with Intercalated Year, 2000–2004 (University of Warwick with Professors Mike Lord and Lynne Roberts) (Intercalated Year with AstraZeneca)

Professional qualifications

  • CBiol Chartered Biologist, 2013 (Royal Society of Biology)

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Proteomics and Metabolomics Steering Group (Institute of Genetics and Cancer, University of Edinburgh)
  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Member, Royal Society of Biology
  • Member, British Society for Proteome Research
  • Member, British Society for Matrix Biology
  • Member, British Society for Cell Biology
  • Member, Biochemical Society

Undergraduate teaching

Postgraduate teaching

Areas of interest for supervision

Understanding cell adhesion, the extracellular matrix and adhesion protein networks in disease systems, including cancer, using cell biological, biochemical, 'omic and systems-level approaches

Current PhD opportunities

Centre for Doctoral Training in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence

Predictive modelling of adhesion protein signatures in cancer cells

  • The programme offers research training and taught courses under a "1+3" format: an MSc by Research in the first year, followed by an interdisciplinary PhD project under the joint supervision of an AI expert and an application domain expert
  • This MScR and PhD studentship is funded by UK Research and Innovation
  • This doctoral training programme is not currently accepting applications (for September 2022 entry); please see http://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/cdt/biomedical-ai/apply/how-to-apply
  • Application deadline will be advertised soon
  • Entry requirements include at least a UK 2.1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in computer science, mathematics, physics, biomedical science, engineering, social sciences or a related discipline with relevant technical experience
  • For further details, see http://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/cdt/biomedical-ai


Current PhD students supervised

  • Aleksandra Slawinska PhD student (with Alan Serrels and Alex von Kriegsheim)
  • Athanasia Yiapanas PhD student

Current undergraduate and masters students supervised


Past PhD students supervised

  • Alex Loftus PhD student (with Margaret Frame and Steve Pollard), 2017–2021
  • Rob Grecian Clinical PhD student (with Sarah Walmsley, Margaret Frame and Moira Whyte), 2017–2020
  • Helen Titmarsh PhD student (with Chris Gregory, Ahsan Akram, Margaret Frame, Mark Bradley, Kev Dhaliwal and Richard O'Connor), 2015–2020
  • Pilar Puerto Camacho Visiting PhD student (with Val Brunton), 2019
  • Natasha Tracey PhD student (with Val Brunton and Neil Carragher), 2015–2019
  • Frederic Li Mow Chee PhD student (with Margaret Frame and Douglas Armstrong), 2014–2018
  • Katy Teo Clinical PhD student (with Val Brunton and David Cameron), 2012–2016
  • Helen Creedon Clinical PhD student (with Val Brunton), 2010–2015
  • Ed Horton PhD rotation student (with Martin Humphries and Pedro Mendes) [University of Manchester], 2012
  • Marco Manca PhD rotation student (with Martin Humphries and Pedro Mendes) [University of Manchester], 2012

Past undergraduate and masters students supervised

  • Chantelle Sunley Undergraduate Honours student, 2021
  • Linda Kogerman Masters student, 2020–2021
  • Bruno Beenaert Dominguez Masters student (with Juan-Carlos Acosta), 2020
  • Aleksandra Slawinska Masters student (with Alan Serrels), 2020
  • Lu Xu Masters student, 2020
  • Katerina Petelova Undergraduate Honours student, 2020
  • Edward Agboraw Undergraduate Honours student, 2020
  • Bruno Beenaert Dominguez Masters student, 2019–2020
  • Emma Koeleman Visiting masters student, 2019
  • Aleks Poziemska Undergraduate Honours student (with Margaret Frame), 2019
  • Sahad Iqbal Undergraduate summer student (with Margaret Frame), 2018
  • Jocelyn Ward Undergraduate Honours student (with Val Brunton and Hitesh Patel), 2016

Research summary

Cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix is of fundamental importance to multicellular biology, with critical roles in cell migration, differentiation and survival. Dysregulation of cell adhesion can result in a wide range of pathological processes, such as fibrosis, inflammation and cancer invasion and metastasis. Adhesion involves cells binding to extracellular ligands and recruiting intracellular adhesion proteins to form membrane-bound signalling complexes. How these complexes interact with, and respond to, the cellular environment and become dysregulated in cancer is poorly understood. Moreover, it is unclear how various cellular processes control the intracellular trafficking of adhesion proteins to a range subcellular locations, which is critical for normal cellular functions.

It is becoming clear that interconnected networks of adhesion proteins and their regulators profoundly influence many aspects of cancer cell behaviour. Understanding how these networks operate in cancer will aid the identification of targetable subnetworks that could be therapeutically exploited.

Dr Adam Byron uses systems-level approaches, integrating state-of-the-art proteomics, bioinformatics, functional cell biology, super-resolution imaging and cancer models, to discover new properties of cancer cell adhesion networks. His research aims to generate mechanistic insights into cellular interactions with, and responses to, the tumour microenvironment that control fundamental aspects of cancer cell behaviour.


  • Professor Margaret Frame, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Val Brunton, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Neil Carragher, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Tim Kendall, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Alan Serrels, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Bin-Zhi Qian, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Charlotte Proby, University of Dundee
  • Dr Viktor Korolchuk, Newcastle University
  • Professor Rachel Lennon, University of Manchester
  • Dr May Tassabehji, University of Manchester
  • Dr Berni Carroll, University of Bristol
  • Dr Leanne de Koning, Institut Curie
  • Professor Roman Zubarev, Karolinska Institutet
  • Dr Ádám Dénes, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Affiliated research centres

Current project grants

Exploiting adhesion protein networks in glioblastoma. Cancer Research UK programme grant (co-investigator), 2018–2023
Understanding the role of Kindlin-1 loss in the development of squamous cell carcinoma. DEBRA International project grant (co-investigator), 2019–2022

Past project grants

Defining the role of Kindlin1 in the regulation of microtubule stability and mitosis. DEBRA UK project grant (co-investigator), 2015–2018

View all 76 publications on Research Explorer

More video

In the press

Public talks

  • How does the stickiness of cells affect the progression of cancer? Edinburgh University Young Scientific Research Association (EUYSRA) Cancer Research UK Lecture, 2016