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Dr Rob Hynds
Lungs For Living Research Centre
5 University Street
London
WC1E 6JF
Appointment
  • Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Research Department of Oncology
  • Cancer Institute
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
Biography

Rob’s research career to date has focused on understanding epithelial stem cell and cancer biology in the context of the human lung epithelium. He completed his PhD in epithelial stem cell biology in the Lungs for Living Research Centre at University College London in 2016, establishing novel 2D and 3D organoid cell culture protocols for the long-term expansion of primary human airway epithelial cells that avoid both senescence and the requirement for transformation. In co-culture with murine 3T3-J2 fibroblast feeder cells and in RHO-associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitor-supplemented medium, epithelial cells proliferate rapidly for long culture periods and can differentiate into the major airway cell types. The main paper describing these results was published in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, with an accompanying editorial commentary. In subsequent collaborative work, Rob has demonstrated the potential of cultured airway epithelial cells in future cell therapies (with Prof. Paolo De Coppi, Great Ormond Street Hospital, GOSH), in modelling primary ciliary dyskinesia, a genetic airway disease (with Prof. Chris O’Callaghan, GOSH) and in characterising novel stromal-epithelial signalling axes (with Dr. Cecilia Prêle, University of Western Australia).

 

Rob is now a Sir Henry Wellcome Senior Postdoctoral Fellow working to develop patient-derived non-small cell lung cancer models and use them to investigate immune-based therapies for lung cancer. Initial results suggested that existing cell culture methodologies often preferentially expand normal airway basal cells, rather than tumour cells, but patient-derived xenografts, which capture a wider range of patient biology, are now being developed within Prof. Charles Swanton’s TRACERx study (in collaboration with Prof. Sergio Quezada).

Research Summary


Appointments
01-OCT-2019 – 01-JAN-2022 Sir Henry Wellcome Senior Postdoctoral Fellow Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory University College London and The Francis Crick Institute, United Kingdom
01-JAN-2018 – 01-OCT-2019 Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory University College London and The Francis Crick Institute, United Kingdom
01-JUL-2016 – 31-DEC-2017 Postdoctoral Research Associate Translational Cancer Therapeutics, UCL Cancer Institute University College London and The Francis Crick Institute, United Kingdom
01-JUL-2012 – 30-JUN-2016 PhD Student UCL Respiratory University College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2016 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Cell Biology University College London
2012 BSc Bachelor of Science – Natural Sciences University of Durham
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