Dr Arran K Turnbull (BSc(Hons), MSc(Res), PhD)

Research Fellow

Background

Dr Arran Turnbull is a postdoctoral research fellow and associate investigator leading the lab-based research team as part of the Edinburgh Breast Cancer Now Research Team and as lead of the Translational Oncology Team at the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Arran's research work focuses primarily on understanding, predicting and treating resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer patients.

Arran's undergraduate honours degree was in molecular biology at Heriot-Watt University and this was followed by a masters by research degree in immunology, genetics and pathway medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Arran graduated from his PhD in oncology at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 and took up a post-doctoral research position in the Edinburgh Breast Cancer Now Research Team, leading the lab-based research and a number of local and international collaborations. In 2014 Arran went on to study medicine at the University of Glasgow.

Arran's PhD focused on the successful development and validation of a translational predictive test for endocrine therapy response in breast cancer for which he, the research team and the University of Edinburgh now hold the UK patent. This test has been successfully validated in several independent cohorts of patients and is moving towards a prospective clinical trial both in the UK and USA.

Arran is also the principal investigator of research projects focused on DCIS, radiotherapy response, microwave radiometry for breast cancer diagnosis and prostate cancer.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons), MSc(Res), PhD

Undergraduate teaching

  • Lecturer and tutor for the undergraduate honours reproductive cancer biology programme (2017-)
  • Lecturer for the undergraduate honours reproductive biology programme  (2014 - 2016)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

No

Research summary

Breast Cancer

  • Prediction of response to endocrine therapy.
  • Mechanisms of endocrine therapy resistance.
  • HER2 positive breast cancer.

DCIS

  • Discovery and validation of predictive biomarkers for risk of DCIS recurrence.

Radiotherapy - ImpactBio Project

  • Development of an assay for secreted biomarkers predictive of response to radiotherapy in solid tumours.

Prostate Cancer

  • Study to investigate the molecular basis of elasticity in prostate cancer diagnosis as part of the “e-finger” mechanical diagnostic device development.

Cancer Imaging

  • Clinical application of microwave radiometry to cancer diagnosis and measurment of treatment response.

Other Research Interests

  • In situ mutation detection and fluorescence in situ hybridisation.
  • Gene Sequencing and transcriptomics approaches.
  • Bioinformatics and predictive modelling.

Affiliated research centres

  • Hong Kong University
  • Breast Cancer Research Laboratories, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • UNC Lineberger, University of North Carolina

Current project grants

Breast Cancer Institute: £50,000 project grant (2018-20) (awarded as principal investigator)
Breast Cancer Institute: £40,000 project grant (2018-19) (awarded as principal investigator)
Sanming Project of Medicine: £1.1M (2018-2023) (awarded as co-applicant)
Breast Cancer Now Project Grant: £200,000 (2018-2020) (awarded as co-principal investigator)
Breast Cancer Research Trust: £100,000 project grant (2017-2019) (awarded as co-principal investigator)
John Black Charitable Trust and Urology Foundation: £50,000 project grant (2017-2019) (awarded as principal investigator)
Breast Cancer Institute: £80,000 project grant (2016-2017) (awarded as principal investigator)

View all 41 publications on Research Explorer

In the press

  • Interview with Pink Ribbon – “Interview with Edinburgh Breast Unit – Surgery and Tests – Professor JM Dixon and Dr A Turnbull” December 2017.
  • Breast Cancer Now promotional video – “Breast Cancer Now in Scotland” October 2015.
  • The National newspaper – “Breakthrough in breast cancer hormone therapy after Edinburgh research” 2nd June 2015.
  • The Herald Scotland – “New test to quickly identify best breast cancer treatment” 1st June 2015.
  • Edinburgh Evening News – “Join Mike in his fight for breast cancer breakthrough” 29th August 2013.
  • Breakthrough Breast Cancer media – “Spotlight on… Dr Arran Turnbull” 3rd August 2013.
  • Scotsman on Sunday National newspaper article – “Hopes for a new breast cancer test” 9th June 2013.

Post-doctoral Reseachers

Lab Technicians

  • Anu Fernando

Current Students

  • Jess Leung (2018) - undergraduate medicine student selected component project
  • Iman Ahmed (2018) - undergraduate medicine student selected component project
  • Johan Roslan (2018) - undergraduate medicine student selected component project

Previous Students

  • Sarah Mog (2018) - undergraduate medicine student selected component project
  • JD Yau (2016-17) - undergraduate medicine student selected component project
  • Daniel McStay (2017-18) - undergraduate honours project
  • Phoebe Thornton (2014) - undergraduate honours project
  • Charlotte Heerlyn (2014) - undergraduate honours project