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Cell Death and Immunity Team

Professor Meier and his team are studying the complex relationship between cell death, inflammation and adaptive immunity, and how this knowledge might be applied to deliver better anti-cancer drugs to the clinic.

Team leader

Professor Pascal Meier

Professor Pascal Meier

Professor of Molecular Cell Biology

Professor Pascal Meier and his team are investigating the complex relationship between cell death, immunity and tumorigenesis. Particularly, we are focussing on the role of cell death and inflammation in adaptation to tissue stress, treatment resistance and tumour surveillance.

ORCID 0000-0003-2760-6523

Team members

Carmo Castilho Soares
Carmo Castilho Soares
PhD student

Carmo studied for her BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology at the Nova University of Lisbon, and then obtained a MSc in Molecular Medicine and Oncology from the University of Porto. During her degree, she also studied at the Institut Curie in Paris, where she first became interested in the competitive interactions between different cell populations. She then worked at the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon, prior to joining Professor Meier’s team as a PhD student in 2019. She is studying the molecular mechanisms that underlie competition between oncogenic and surrounding cells and how these contribute to tumour growth.

Dr Jarama Clucas
Postdoctoral Training Fellow +44 20 3437 7612

Dr Jarama (Jazz) Clucas attained her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, before completing a PhD on prostate cancer progression using 3D cell culture models at St George’s, University of London. She then worked for a year as a Horizon 2020-funded Project Research Scientist at the Francis Crick Institute, standardising 3D cell migration data, before joining Professor Meier’s lab in 2018. During her postdoc she has specialised in the establishment of organoid models while investigating immunogenic cell death in breast cancer.

Dr Winnie Fernando
Higher Scientific Officer

Dr Fernando completed her MSc at the University of Queensland in 2008, and obtained her PhD from Griffith University, Australia in 2014. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the QIMR Berghofer, Australia and continued her postdoctoral training at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. In 2020, she joined Professor Meier’s group at ICR as a Higher Scientific Officer for in vivo work.

Dr Marta Fores Maresma
Dr Marta Fores Maresma
Honorary Appointment +44 20 3437 7393

Dr Marta Forés Maresma graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona (Spain) in 2012. After obtaining her PhD at the Institute of Molecular Biology of Barcelona, in 2018 she joined Professor Meier’s lab in the Breast Cancer Now Research Centre as a Postdoctoral Fellow to study competitive interactions between cells with different fitness levels. In 2019 she was granted the EMBO postdoctoral long-term fellowship.

Dr Valentina Gifford
Dr Valentina Gifford
Postdoctoral Training Fellow

Dr Gifford received a MSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology from the University of Pisa and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Medicine from the University of Oxford. At the end of 2020, she joined the ICR as Postdoctoral Training Fellow, working as part of Professor Meier’s lab and the Cancer Research UK-funded Radiation Research Network. Her project aims to understand how radiation therapy could be employed to maximise immunogenic cell death. Dr Gifford is also interested in how radiation therapy could be combined with novel therapeutic approaches, like immune checkpoint blockade, to achieve a long-lasting anti-tumour immunity in cancer patients.

Dr Emily  Goode
Dr Emily Goode
PhD Student

Dr Emily Goode is a CRUK Clinical Fellow completing her PhD in the Cell Death and Inflammation lab, in the Breast Cancer Now Centre at the ICR. After completing general medical training in London, she is now an academic Specialist Registrar in Medical Oncology at The Royal Marsden Hospital.

Sidonie Wicky John
Sidonie Wicky John
Senior Scientific Officer

Dr Sidonie Wicky John obtained her Diploma (Swiss equivalent to MSc) in Biology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. After a postdoc in Doug Kellogg’s lab at the University of California Santa Cruz, she joined the team of Professor Meier in the Breast Cancer Now Research Centre in 2009 as a Scientific Officer.

Dr Arnaud Legrand
Dr Arnaud Legrand
Postdoctoral Training Fellow

Dr Arnaud Legrand received his MSc at the Institute of Biology of Lille before obtaining a PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. After working in radiation biology at the University of Oxford, Dr Legrand joined Professor Meier’s team at the ICR. His project aims to harness fundamental observations made by the team to enhance chemotherapy and immunotherapy performances in breast and lung cancers, by connecting the innate immunity to the anti-tumour immune response.

Jonathan Mannion
PhD student

Jonathan Mannion currently holds a BSc in Biomedical Science and an MRes in Cancer Biology, from Northumbria and Newcastle Universities, respectively. Shortly after completing his MRes, Jonathan spent 18 months at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular biology in Cambridge, where he studied the innate and adaptive arms of the type 2 immune response. In 2020, Jonathan joined Professor Pascal Meier’s research team as a CRUK-funded PhD student.

Dr Laura Ramos Garcia
Dr Laura Ramos Garcia
Honorary Appointment +44 20 3437 7388

Dr Laura Ramos García obtained her BSc in Biotechnology at the University of the Basque Country (Spain) in 2014. She then graduated from Imperial College London with an MSc in Molecular Medicine prior to joining Professor Meier’s lab at the ICR. In 2019, she completed her PhD on the regulatory mechanisms that control necroptotic cell death, and has continued her research at the ICR as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Tencho Tenev
Tencho Tenev
Staff Scientist

Dr Tenev graduated from the Department of Biochemistry, Biological Faculty at the University of Sofia. He obtained his PhD at the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany. In 2001 he joined Professor Meier's lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow, and in 2005 he was promoted to Staff Scientist.

Savita Udainiya
Savita Udainiya
Postdoctoral Training Fellow +44 20 7153 5352

Savita Udainiya obtained her PhD in biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. In Syngene International Limited, India, she developed cell-based assays and compound screening for drug discovery. In her postdoc with Professor Akhilesh Pandey at John’s Hopkins University and Mayo Clinic, USA, she applied CRISPR/Cas9 and BioID with Biotinylation Site Identification Technology (BioSITe) to study post-translation modifications and protein-protein interactions by mass-spec. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow investigating molecular mechanisms of programmed cell death and immunity by proteomics.

Rebecca Wilson
Rebecca Wilson
Senior Scientific Officer

Rebecca Wilson holds a BSc (Hons) from the University of Aberdeen and joined the Institute of Cancer Research as a Scientific Officer in 1996, working in the lab of Professor Chris Marshall. In 2000 she moved to Professor Meier’s Cell Death and Differentiation team in the Breast Cancer Now research unit.