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Dr Lucy Brooks
203 Paul O' Gorman Building
UCL Cancer Institute
72 Huntley Street
Dr Lucy Brooks profile picture
  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Research Department of Cancer Bio
  • Cancer Institute
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Lucy obtained a M.Sci. in Neuroscience from the University of Nottingham, in 2011. Her studies included an academic placement year at The Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she studies alterations in glutamatergic and tumour necrosis factor-α-related pathways in schizophrenia and mood disorders.

She then moved to Imperial College London to pursue doctoral studies with Dr. Gavin Bewick, where she investigated how dietary fermentable carbohydrates and the microbiome interact to protect against diet-induced obesity. Her work revealed that microbial short chain fatty acids act at FFAR2 to expand a population of cells within the colon that secrete enteroendocrine hormones that act at the hypothalamus to suppress appetite. For this work, she obtained her PhD in Medicine from Imperial College London in 2015.

In 2016, Lucy joined the lab of Professor Simona Parrinello, as a Postdoctoral Fellow initially at the MRC London Medical School (LMS) and later at UCL. Her work identified the white matter is a pro-differentiative niche for glioblastoma. She is now working toward understanding the therapeutic impact of cell fate decisions in glioblastoma as a member of the Cancer research UK City of London (CoL) radiation network (RadNet).

Research Themes
Research Summary
Brain tumours develop within complex microenvironments, that play a central role in regulating malignant cell growth and invasion. As an example, we have found that tumour invasion into the white matter injures the surrounding tissue, which in turn promotes oligodendrocyte-like differentiation of tumour cells, causing them to become less proliferative and invasive. Identifying how microenvironmental signals elicit such effects can allow us to manipulate tumour cell identity and supress growth and invasion of the entire tumour. As cell identify is also associated with differential susceptibility to therapies, we believe that by identifying the factors that regulate cell fate we can steer tumours towards more treatment sensitive states and combat therapy resistance.
Academic Background
2014   Doctor of Philosophy University College London/Imperial College
2011   Master of Natural Science University of Nottingham
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