Professor Suzanne Turner

University of Cambridge

University departments
Department of Pathology

Position: Professor
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Professor Suzanne Turner is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.

Research description

Our research focusses on dissecting mechanisms of lymphomagenesis using anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) as our working model. ALCL is asociated with expression of the Nucelophosmin-Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase oncogene (NPM-ALK) generated as a result of the t(2;5). The consistent presence of this genomic abnormality with this specific disease phenotype suggests it plays a role in lymphomagenesis. We have generated mouse models demonstrating the causal role of NPM-ALK in the development of ALCL. We are now refining these models so that they more closely minic the human disease at both phenotypic and genetic levels. We are addressing several theories employing the mouse models; oncogene addiction, lymphoma initiating cells and the contribution of antigenic stimulation to lymphomagenesis. These research themes run alongside our ongoing efforts to elucidate the signal transduction pathways initiated by NPM-ALK and our efforts to generate ALK-specific inhibitor compounds.

Research Programme
Paediatric Cancer
Secondary Programme
Haematological Malignancies
Methods and technologies
Cell culture
Clinical trials
Confocal microscopy
DNA sequencing
Fluorescence microscopy
Gene expression profiling
In vivo modelling
Model organisms
Protein biochemistry
Recombinant protein expression
Tumour type interests
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Recent publications:
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Key publications

1. Malcolm, T*., Villarese, P*., Fairbairn, C., Lamant, L., Trinquand, A., Hook, C.E., Burke, G.A.A., Brugieres, L., Hughes K., Payet, D., Merkel, O., Schiefer, A., Ashankyty, I., Mian, S., Wasik, M., Turner, M., Kenner, L., Asnafi, V., Macintyre, E. and Turner, S.D. (2015) NPM-ALK mimics beta selection enabling thymic escape and peripheral lymphoma development. Nature Communications, 7, Article number: 10087 doi:10.1038/ncomms10087
2. Ceccon M., Boggio Merlo E., Mologni L., Poggio T., Varesio L.M., Menotti M., Bombelli S., Rigolio R., Manazza A.D., Ambrogio C., Giudici G., Casati C., Mastini C., Compagno M., Turner S.D., Gambacorti-Passerini C., Voena C. and Chiarle R. (2015) Excess of NPM-ALK oncogenic signaling promotes cellular apoptosis and drug dependency. Oncogene, doi: 10.1038/onc.2015.456
3. Pencik, J., Schlederer, M., Gruber, W., Aberger, F., Kennedy, R., Walker, S.M., Malcolm, T., Turner, S.D., Rose-John, S., Chalaris, A., Levy, D.E., Marié, I.J., Hassler, M.R., Poli, V., Unger, C., Eferl, R., Esterbauer, H., Aksoy, O., Tahereh, J., Skucha, A., Grebien, F., Herac, M., Mazal, P., Haitel, A., Susani, M., Moriggl, R., Dolznig, H., Culig, Z. & Kenner, L. (2015) Loss of IL-6/Stat3 signaling drives prostate cancer progression in mice and men. Nature Communications Jul 22;6:7736. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8736.
4. Merkel, O., Hamacher, F., Griessl, R., Grabner, L., Schmatz, A., Prutsch, N., Baer, C.,Hartmann, T., Simonitsch, I., Plass, C., Turner, S.D., Zenz, T., Greil, R. and Kenner, L. (2015) Oncogenic role of miR-155 in anaplastic large cell lymphoma lacking the t(2;5) translocation. J. Path Aug;236(4):445-56. doi: 10.1002/path.4539.
5. Moti, N., Malcolm, T., Hamoudi, R., Mian, S., Garland, G., Hook, C.E., Burke, G.A.A., Wasik, M., Merkel, O., Kenner, L., Laurenti, E., Dick, J.E. and Turner, S.D. (2014) Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma stem cells possess a gene expression profile reflective of an early thymic progenitor pointing to a primitive cell of origin. Oncogene, Apr 2;34(14):1843-52. doi: 10.1038/onc.2014.112
6. Marzec M., Halasa K., Liu X., Cheng M., Baldwin D., Tobias J.W., Schuster S., tmann A., Turner S.D., Odum N., and Wasik M.A. (2013) Malignant transformation of CD4+ T lymphocytes mediated by oncogenic kinase NPM/ALK recapitulates IL-2-incduced cell signaling and gene expression reprogramming. Journal of Immunology 191(12):6200-7
7. McDuff, F.K.E., Lim, S-V., Dalbay, M. and Turner, S.D. (2013) Assessment of the transforming potential of novel Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase point mutants.Molecular Carcinogenesis 52(1):79-83
8 Laimer, D., Dolznig, H., Kollmann, K., Vesely, P.W., Schlederer, M., Merkel, O.,Schiefer, A., Hassler, M.R., Heider, S., Amenitsch, L., Thallinger, C., Staber, P.B., Simonitsch-Klupp, I., Artaker, M., Lagger, S., Turner, S.D., Pileri, S., Piccaluga, P.P., Valent, P., Messana, K., Landra, I., Weichhart, T., Knapp, S., Shehata, M., Todaro, M., Sexl, V., Höfler, G., Piva, R., Medico, E., Riggeri, B.A., Cheng, M., Eferl, R., Egger, G., Penninger, J.M., Jaeger, U., Moriggl, R., Inghirami, G. and Kenner, L. (2012) Identification of PDGFR blockade as a rational and highly effective therapyfor NPM-ALK driven lymphomas. Nature Medicine 18(11):1699-704