Dr. Arran K. Turnbull

BSc(Hons), MSc(Res), PhD

ONCOLOGY RESEARCH SCIENTIST

SENIOR LECTURER, PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR & GROUP LEADER

University of Edinburgh

University of Hong Kong (Honorary)

Research

Find out more about current research projects and collaborations

Funders

Find out more about the supporters and charities that fund my research

Publications

Take a look at my scientific publications, reviews, editorials and books

Conferences

Take a look at my posters and presentations from scientific conferences

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Biography

I am a postdoctoral research fellow leading the Translational Oncology Research Group at the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. My research work focuses primarily on understanding, predicting and treating resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer patients. 

My undergraduate honours degree was in molecular biology at Heriot-Watt University and this was followed by a masters by research degree in immunology, genetics and pathway medicine at the University of Edinburgh. I graduated with a PhD in oncology and clinical medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 and took up a post-doctoral research position in the Edinburgh Breast Cancer Now Research Team, leading the lab-based research and a number of local and international collaborations. In 2015 I went on to study medicine at the University of Glasgow. In 2018 I started my own research group with a focus on translational oncology in breast, prostate and other cancers.

My PhD work focused on the successful development and validation of a translational predictive test for endocrine therapy response in breast cancer for which I, my colleagues and the University of Edinburgh hold the UK patent. This test has been successfully validated in several independent cohorts of patients and is moving towards a prospective clinical trial both in the UK and USA.

 

In 2018 I started my own research group and in this capacity I am also the principal investigator of research projects focused on predicting risk of recurrence in patients treated for DCIS, predicting and understanding the clinical response to radiotherapy in solid tumours, microwave radiometry for breast cancer diagnosis and a novel translational approach for prostate cancer diagnosis. 

I was recently appointed as Edinburgh research lead in the Edinburgh Shenzhen Research and Teaching Initiative to promote an international programme of research and teaching excellent in breast oncology. I currently hold an honorary lectureship at the University of Hong Kong.  

In 2018 I was awarded the Sir Antony Driver Prize by Breast Cancer Now for outstanding contributions to Breast Cancer Now's ambition and charitable vision. In 2019 I was appointed to the position of senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.

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Breast Cancer Research

Prediction of response to endocrine therapy

  • The EA2CliN Test

  • Collaboration with AstraZeneca

  • Collaboration with Philips

Mechanisms of endocrine therapy resistance

  • Collaboration with Georgetown University

  • Collaboration with University of North Carolina

HER2 positive breast cancer

In-situ mutation detection (ISMD)

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As part of the Edinburgh Breast Cancer Now Research Team

MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

Discovery and validation of predictive biomarkers for risk of DCIS recurrence.

Translational Oncology Team

MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine

Prostate Cancer

Study to investigate the molecular basis of elasticity in prostate cancer diagnosis as part of the “e-finger” mechanical diagnostic device development.

Translational Oncology Team

MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine

In collaboration with Dr D Good and Professor A McNeil

Radiotherapy

Development of an assay for secreted biomarkers to monitor response to radiotherapy in solid tumours.

Development of a predictive test for risk of recurrence following radiotherapy for breast cancer.

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Translational Oncology Team

MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine

In collaboration with the IMPACT team

Cancer Imaging

Clinical application of microwave radiometry to cancer diagnosis and measurment of treatment response.

Translational Oncology Team

MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine

In collaboration with Prof I Goryanin

Sequencing & Bioinformatics

  • Transcriptomics.

  • Next-generation sequencing.

  • Data integration.

  • Predictive modelling.

In collaboration with the Applied Bioinformatics of Cancer Team

MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine