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Dr Isabel Monteiro dos Santos Pires


Isabel Monteiro dos Santos Pires

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science/ Head of the Hypoxia and Tumour Microenvironment group

Post Nominals PhD, FHEA
Biography Dr Isabel Pires is a cancer biologist, and particularly interested in how low oxygen (hypoxia) in tumours impacts on therapy and metastatic spread.

Since establishing her laboratory at the University of Hull, Dr Pires continued to focus on hypoxia-mediated tumourigenesis and therapy resistance (Pires et al., 2014; Poujade et al., 2018; Edge et al., 2021). Current work in the lab is also focusing on exploring the hypoxic radiobiological context (Edge et al, 2021; Li et al, in preparation), and developing novel models for metastasis (Scrace et al., 2013; Collins, Pyne et al., 2021). We have also explored novel anti-cancer agents derived from natural products in collaboration with Dr Celia Cabral’s laboratory at the University of Coimbra (Beeby et al., 2020; Beeby et al., 2021).

Before establishing her group, Dr Pires was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, where her work was crucial in expanding the characterisation of the biology of the DNA damage response and DNA replication in hypoxia, with a special focus on enhancing response to radiotherapy in low oxygen (Bencokova et al., 2009; Pires et al., 2010; Olcina et al., 2013; Pefani et al., 2014; Cazares-Korner, Pires et al., 2013; Pires et al., 2012; Chan, Pires et al., 2010).

Dr Pires is passionate about training the next generation of scientists. She a member of the executive committee of the BACR (British Association for Cancer Research) and the are (Association for Radiation Research), as well as a member of the the Education Committee of the Biochemical Society. Dr Pires is also the Athena SWAN co-lead for the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Dr Pires is also an enthusiastic science communicator, and has given talks in such events as TEDx Hull and Pint of Science, and organised the Soapbox Science Hull event in 2016-2017.
Research Interests Key research themes:
Tumour Hypoxia
Cancer therapy (particularly radiotherapy)
3D models of cancer

Funding since 2012:
2021 - 2024 Bowel Research UK PhD studentship £75k (as PI)
2019- 2022 University of Hull PhD Studentship cluster for Adaptive Radiotherapy (5 studentships), total associated funds approx. £340k (cluster lead and PI for 2 projects)
2017 PARSUK Xpand Oportunidades internship to Ana Semedo and Isabel Pires €1750 (as PI)
2016 PARSUK Xperience internship to Patricia Gracio and Isabel Pires €1750 (as PI)
2015 - 2018 University of Hull PhD Studentship to Thomas Collins and Isabel Pires £65k (as PI)
2014 - 2015 Breast Cancer Campaign Pilot Grant £20k (as PI)
2014 PARSUK Xperience internship to Joana Silva and Isabel Pires €1750 (as PI)
2013 - 2014 Royal Society Research Grant: £15k (as PI)
2013 - 2016 University of Hull PhD Studentship to Anna Todd and Isabel Pires £75k (as PI)
2013 - 2016 University of Hull PhD Studentship to Flore-Anne Poujade and Isabel Pires £75k (as PI)
Teaching and Learning MSc Biomedical Science
- Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer (module leader)
- Current Topics in Biomedical Science
- Research Project and Dissertation

BSc Biomedical Science
- Independent Research Project (module leader)
- Skills for Biomedical Science (L4 and L5)
- Molecular Cell Biology
- Biological Basis of Disease
- Cancer Biology

External lecturer at the University of Oxford MSc in Radiation Oncology
Scopus Author ID 56900912900