Dr Jenny Fraser

Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences


Jenny graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a BSc(Hons) in pharmacology before completing her PhD researching the post-translational mechanisms regulating the activity of glutamate cysteine ligase (GCL) at the University of Dundee. Since her PhD she has continued and developed her interest in post-translation regulation of protein function and cellular adaptation to stress, completing post docs investigating: GCL function in ageing at the University of Dundee; post-translational regulation of p53 tumour suppressor signalling by Mdm2 and DAPK at the University of Edinburgh’s, Cancer Research Centre, IGMM, and activation of neutrophils by silver nanoparticles at Edinburgh Napier University.

In 2013, she was appointed as a Lecturer in Biomedical sciences at Edinburgh Napier University and in 2020 moved to take up a senior lectureship position at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh where she is involved in the teaching of undergraduate veterinary students and supervision of project and postgraduate students in the laboratory.

Her current research focuses on prostate cancer adaptation and plasticity in response to androgen deprivation stress and role of neuroendocrine transdifferentition as a mechanism of tumour resistance to therapy.


PostGraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in higher education, Edinburgh Napier University (2013)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Dundee (2002)

Bachelor of Science (BSc (Hons) pharmacology), University of Aberdeen (1998)

Responsibilities & affiliations


Personal Tutor to BVMS undergraduate and postgraduate students (2020 - )

Chair of the Easter Bush Postgraduate Research Student Staff student liaison committee (2021 - )  

Affiliations and memberships:

Member of the Easter Bush Sustainability and Social Responsibility committee (2021 - )

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2013 -  )

STEM ambassador (2012 - )

Member of the Society for Endocrinology (2022 - )

Member of the Genetics Society (2021 - )

Member of the Biochemical Society (2011 - )

Undergraduate teaching

BVM&S teaching (2020 - present):

  • BVMS08038 Animal Body 1 - From Cell to Body Structure. Cell biology lectures, tutorials and enzyme practicals
  • Coordinate the cell biology teaching for the BVMS08038 Animal Body 1 course
  • BVMS08057 Animal Body 3 - Systems Biology and Pathology.  Teach CV and respiratory physiology
  • BVMS08051 Animal Body 4 - Integration of Structure and Function. 
  • Exam board Chair for BVMS08051 Animal Body 4

BMS teaching (2020 - present):

  • Reproductive Cancer Biology elective - prostate cancer biology 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

  • Isla Bruce (April 2021; primary supervisor): Investigating the role of exosomes and the cell fate regulator, ASCL1 in driving, and maintaining lethal neuroendocrine transdifferentiation of prostate cancer. Melville Trust for Care and Cure of Cancer funded PhD studentship.

Past PhD students supervised

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students:

  • Lucy McVey (2016; Third supervisor): The glycosylation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in breast cancer metastasis.
  • Miguel Martin-Aragon Baudel (2017; Second supervisor): Gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors and cation chloride co-transporters (CCCs) as possible neuroprotective targets in stroke.
  • Joseph Sutton (2019; Second supervisor): Investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in neuroendocrine transdifferentiation of prostate cancer.

Masters by Research (MRes) students:

  • Melissa Sutherland (2017; Second supervisor): Identification of GABAA receptors in uterus and their role in pre-term labour.
  • Shannon Sutherland (2019; Primary supervisor): Investigating the glycosylation gene expression profile in hypoxic, triple negative breast cancer.
  • Isla Bruce (2020 Primary supervisor): Exosome signalling in neuroendocrine prostate cancer.
  • Alice Arnold (2021; Second supervisor): Examining the role of hypoxia in inflammatory bowel disease.

Research summary

I am interested in the molecular pathways activated as cells adapt to various forms of stress and how these become dysregulated in disease.

Current research interests

My current research focuses on transdifferentiation of prostate cancer following androgen deprivation stress and the potential role of cell fate regulators and exosomes in prostate cancer evolution and tumour plasticity (in collaboration with Dr Amy Poole, Edinburgh Napier University and Dr Lisa Pang, Rolsin Institute). I am also interested in identifying new biomarkers to help stratify castrate resistant prostate cancer and recently begun a project to profile circulating biomarkers in men with different types of metastatic prostate cancer (in collaboration with Prof Duncan McLaren and Mr Alex Laird at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre/Western General Hospital). I am also collaborating with Dr Natalie Homer (Clinical research facility, QMRI, Uof Ed) to determine the impact of exosome depletion on androgen availability and androgen intermediates, via Mass Spectrometry.

Past research interests

Past research interest were focused on the importance of post-translational regulation of protein function in adaptation to stress. In my early career, I investigated and characterised the post-translational modifications regulating the activity of Glutamate Cysteine Ligase, the rate limiting enzyme of glutathione synthesis and homeostasis in Drosophila melanogaster, with Dr Lesley McLellan at the Biomedical Research Centre, University of Dundee. I also spent several years working on the post-translation regulation of p53 and Mdm2 signalling and cancer cell signalling with Prof Ted Hupp at the CRUK Cancer Research Centre, investigating the importance of protein docking, phosphorylation and ubiquitination. I continued my interest in altered protein post-translational modifications in cancer at Edinburgh Napier University by supervising several postgraduate research students investigating altered protein glycosylation breast cancer. I also supervised several postgraduate research students investigating multiple aspects of hypoxic adaptation in inflammatory bowel disease (with Dr Craig Stevens) and stroke neurobiology (with Dr AMy Poole (ENU), and Prof Arsenio Fernandez-Lopez at the University of Leon, Spain).

Current project grants

• £20, 000 (Jan 2022) Tenovus Scotland, pilot grant entitled: "Systematically profiling the expression of biomarkers circulating in the blood to help detect advanced, treatment resistant prostate cancer subtype"
• £85,216 (April 2021) The Melville Trust for the Care and Cure of Cancer. 3 year PhD studentship, project entitled “Investigating the role of exosomes and the cell fate regulator, ASCL1 in driving, and maintaining lethal Neuroendocrine transdifferentiation of prostate cancer”

Past project grants

£1,998, (Nov 2020) Moray Endowment Fund Award. Project entitled “Isolating and profiling exosomes derived from neuroendocrine prostate cancer”

View all 15 publications on Research Explorer