A cross-disciplinary approach to the detection and analysis of miRNA in exosomes

Professor Alethea B Tabor (ABT) (primary)
Dr Simon Ameer-Beg (SAB) (secondary)
Division of Cancer Studies


This project brings together chemical biology, medical physics and light microscopy, computational biology and cancer biology in a cross-disciplinary approach to studying the emerging area of exosomal miRNA in cancer biology. The student will develop nanoparticle-based probe and imaging techniques to detect tumor-specific miRNA sequences in patient biopsy samples.


[1] Q Fan, L Yang, XD Zhang, XQ Peng, SB Wei, DM Su, ZH Zhai, XD Hua, HY Li. The emerging role of exosome-derived non-coding RNAs in cancer biology. Cancer Lett., 414, 107-115 (2018).
[2] G Weitsman, NJ Mitchell, R Evans, A Cheung, TL Kalber, R Bofinger, GO Fruhwirth, M Keppler, ZVF Wright, PR Barber, P Gordon, T de Koning, W Wulaningsih, K Sander, B Vojnovic, S Ameer-Beg, M Lythgoe, JN Arnold, E Årstad, F Festy, HC Hailes, AB Tabor, T Ng. Detecting intratumoral heterogeneity of EGFR activity by liposome-based in vivo transfection of a fluorescent biosensor. Oncogene, 36, 3618–3628 (2017).
[3] L Kudsiova, K Welser, F Campbell, A Mohammadi, N Dawson, L Cui, HC Hailes, MJ Lawrence, AB Tabor. Delivery of siRNA using ternary complexes containing branched cationic peptides: the role of peptide sequence, branching and targeting. Mol. BioSyst., 12, 934-951 (2016).
[4] SP Poland, N Krstajic, J Monypenny, S Coelho, D Tyndall, RJ Walker, V Devauges, J Richardson, N Dutton, P Barber, DDU Li, K Suhling, T Ng, RK Henderson, SM Ameer-Beg. A high speed multifocal multiphoton fluorescence lifetime imaging microscope for live-cell FRET imaging. Biomed. Optics Express, 2, 277-296 (2015).
[5] G Weitsman, PR Barber, LK Nguyen, K Lawler, G Patel, N Woodman, MT Kelleher, SE Pinder, M Rowley, PA Ellis, AD Purushotham, AC Coolen, BN Kholodenko, B Vojnovic, C Gillett, T Ng. HER2-HER3 dimer quantification by FLIM-FRET predicts breast cancer metastatic relapse independently of HER2 IHC status. Oncotarget, 7, 51012-51026 (2016).

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyChemical Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiophysicsChemistryImage ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologySimulation / Modelling