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Professor Claire Lewis

Key Areas of Expertise:

Macrophage biology

Inflammation in Cancer


Zebrafish models of cancer (and inflammation)

Cell-based gene therapies for cancer

Professor Lewis is Professor of Molecular & Cellular Pathology and Head of the Academic Unit of Inflammation & Tumour Targeting in the Department of Oncology in the Medical School. She is also the Research Director for the Department and a founding member of the CRUK-YCR Sheffield Cancer Research Centre.

After completing her DPhil (PhD) in Oxford in 1986, Claire held two postdoctoral positions and a Research Lectureship in the Medical School there before joining the University of Sheffield Medical School in 1996. She currently holds a Personal Chair in Molecular & Cellular Pathology and heads a team of academics and pre/postdoctoral scientists in the Academic Unit of Inflammation and Tumour Targeting. She was awarded a DSc degree from Oxford University in 2006 for her contributions to the field of tumour inflammation research.

Research Interests

Her research is focused mainly on the role of inflammatory cells called macrophages in tumour progression and responses to conventional anti-cancer treatments like chemotherapy and irradiation. Her group has also developed ways of using these cells to target therapeutic genes and viruses to tumours. She has pioneered the use of various zebrafish tumour models to dynamically image inflammatory cells in tumours at the single cell level. Her work is regularly reported in the national press and is currently funded by grants from Cancer Research UK, Yorkshire Cancer Research, the Medical Research Council, the Breast Cancer Campaign and the Prostate Cancer Charity.

Key Publications (recent)

  1. Muthana M, Rodrigues SR, Chen Y-Y, Welford A, Hughes R, Tazzyman S, Essand M, Morrow F and Lewis CE. (2012). Macrophage Delivery of an Oncolytic Virus Abolishes Tumor Regrowth and Metastasis After Chemotherapy or Irradiation. Cancer Res. Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. De Palma M and Lewis CE. (2011). Macrophages Limit Chemotherapy. Nature 472: 303-304
  3. Welford AF, Biziato D, Coffelt SB, Nucera S, Fisher M, Pucci F, Di Serio C, Naldini L, De Palma M, Tozer GM and Lewis CE. (2011). TIE2-Expressing Macrophages Limit the Therapeutic Efficacy of the Vascular Disrupting Agent, Combretastatin A4 Phosphate. J. Clin. Invest. 121: 1969-73
  4. Lewis CE and Ferrara N. (2011). Multiple Effects of Angiopoietin-2 Blockade on Tumors. Cancer Cell. 19: 431-3.
  5. Owen MR, Stamper IJ, Muthana M, Richardson GW, Dobson J, Lewis CE, Byrne HM. (2011). Mathematical Modelling Predicts Synergistic Anti-tumor effects of Combining a Macrophage-based, Hypoxia-targeted, Gene Therapy with Chemotherapy. Cancer Res. 71: 2826-37
  6. Muthana M, Giannoudis A, Scott SD, Fang H-Y, Coffelt SB, Morrow FJ, Murdoch M, Burton JL, Cross N, Burke B, Mistry R, Hamdy FC, Brown NJ, Georgopoulos L, Hoskin P, Essand M, Lewis CE* & Maitland NJ.* (2011). Use of Macrophages to Target Therapeutic Adenovirus to Human Prostate Tumors. Cancer Res. 71:1805-15. * [joint senior authors].
  7. Coffelt SB, Chen YY, Muthana M, Welford AF, Tal AO, Scholz A, Plate KH, Reiss Y Murdoch C, De Palma M and Lewis CE. (2011). Angiopoietin-2 Stimulates Tie2-expressing Monocytes to Suppress T cell activation and Promote Regulatory T cell Expansion. J. Immunol. 186:4183-90.
  8. Coffelt SB, Tal OA, Scholz A, De Palma M, Patel S, Urbich C, Biswas SK, Murdoch C, Plate K, Reiss Y and Lewis CE. (2010). Angiopoietin-2 Regulates Gene Expression in Tie2-expressing Monocytes and Augments their Inherent Pro-angiogenic Functions. Cancer Res. 70:5270-80.
  9. Coffelt SB, Lewis CE, Naldini L, Brown JM, Ferrara N and De Palma M. (2010). Elusive Identities and Overlapping Phenotypes of Pro-angiogenic Myeloid Cells in Tumors. Am. J. Pathol. 176:1564-76.
  10. Fang H-Y, Hughes R, Murdoch C, Coffelt S, Biswas SK, Harris AL, Johnson RS, Imityaz HZ, Simon MC, Fredlund E, Greten R, Rius J and Lewis CE. (2009). Hypoxia-Inducible Factors 1 and 2 are Important Transcriptional Effectors in Primary Macrophages Experiencing Hypoxia. Blood. 114:844-59.
  11. Hagemann T, Biswas SK, Lawrence T, Sica A and Lewis CE. (2009). Regulation of Macrophage Function in Tumors: the Multifaceted Role of NF-kB. Blood. 113:3139-46.
  12. Murdoch C, Muthana M, Coffelt S and Lewis CE. (2008). The Role of Myeloid Cells in the Promotion of Tumour Angiogenesis. Nature Reviews Cancer. 8:618-31.

Contact Details

Professor Claire Lewis, BSc DPhil, DSC, CRUK/YCR Sheffield Cancer Research Centre, Department of Oncology, University of Sheffield Medical School, Beech Hill Road Sheffield S10 2RX

Telephone: 0114 271 2903

Fax: 0114 271 3314