This cross-disciplinary research group links neuropathology, endocrinology and molecular genetics to explore how the genetics and epigenetics of pituitary tumours influences clinical characteristics and to identify targets for therapeutic intervention.
Tumours of the pituitary region are usually benign, but can cause considerable adverse effects due to their anatomical location. Their impact on endocrine function presents a further challenge to successful treatment and often means that patients require very careful management. Based in the Neuropathology department and with strong collaborative links to the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) this group leads an interdisciplinary effort to integrate neuropathological, genetic, epigenetic and clinical data to gain insight into the pathogenesis and behavior of pituitary tumours.
Our main areas of research are tumours causing acromegaly as a result of excess growth hormone secretion (somatotroph adenomas) and craniopharyngioma, a rare tumour that often arises during childhood. We were among the first groups to identify the presence of a mutation in craniopharyngiomas (BRAF V600E) that enabled the first targeted pharmacological treatment of this tumour type.
Our ongoing aim is to use our combination of expertise to gain further insight into how pituitary tumours arise and how we might refine treatments to improve efficacy.