Barbara Guinn

Dr Barbara Guinn

Reader in Biomedical Science

Faculty of Health Sciences

01482 466543

Barbara is a cancer immunologist with a special interest in the identification of tumour antigens as targets for immunotherapy and biomarkers of disease.

She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and works closely with clinicians in the fields of haematological malignancies, ovarian cancer and endometriosis.

Barbara’s work has including developing a DNA vaccine for clinical trials, prioritising epitopes for the immunotherapy of myeloid leukaemia and the identification of a novel biomarker in early stage ovarian cancer.

Her group is particularly interested in identifying antigenic targets for the immunotherapy of difficult-to-treat diseases and the characterisation of proteins in the urine of patients at the early stages of cancer.


Research Interests

  • The identification of novel targets for the immunotherapy of cancer using SEREX, microarray and proto-arrays

  • Difficult to treat diseases such as acute lymphocytic leukaemia, ovarian and colon cancer, endometriosis and sarcoidosis

Research groups

  • Professor Ken Mills, Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland. Ongoing collaborative work on microarray analysis and role of antigens as biomarkers of survival. PhD supervisor 1991-1995.

  • Professor Alison Banham, University of Oxford. Co-applicant on successful Cancer Research UK Discovery Committee grant (2010-2012) (AB as PI) and ongoing collaborations on PASD1 as a target for immunotherapy.

  • Dr Kim Orchard, University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust. Provides samples, patient information and academic support regarding studies on haematological malignancies.

  • Professor Evelien Smits, University of Antwerp, Belgium. Characterisation of the expression of novel antigens in adult B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

  • Dr Marina Flynn, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Provides samples, patient information and academic support regarding studies on the identification of novel antigens and biomarkers of ovarian cancer.

  • Professor Brian Catchpole, Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Collaboration to perform the serological profiling of autoantibodies in canine hypoadrenocoricism (autoimmune Addision’s disease).

  • Dr Stephanie McArdle, Notitngham Trent University, collaborate on the analysis of the expression of the cancer-testis antigen, HAGE, in leukaemia.

  • Professor Michael Linnebacher, Molecular Oncology and Immunotherapy Clinic for General Surgery, University of Rostock. Collaboration on the analysis of tumour antigen expression in colorectal cancer.     

  • Dr Mark Tangney and Professor Gerald O'Sullivan, Cork Cancer Research Centre, University College Cork. Collaboration on the identification of the antigens recognised by patients with immune reactive Duke's B colon cancer.


Freire-Boullosa, L., Savaliya, P., Bonney, S.E., Orchard, L., Wickenden, H., Lee, C., Smits, E., Banham, A.H., Mills, K.I., Orchard, K. & Guinn, B.A. (2017) Identification of survivin as a promising target for the immunotherapy of adult B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. OncoTarget, 9, 3853-3866.

Brooks S E, Bonney S, Lee C, Publicover A, Khan G, Smits E L, Sigurdardottir D, Arno M, Li D, Mills K I, Pulford K, Banham A H, van Tendeloo V, Mufti G J, Rammensee H G, Elliott T J, Orchard K H, Guinn B A (2015), 'Application of the pMHC Array to Characterise Tumour Antigen Specific T Cell Populations in Leukaemia Patients at Disease Diagnosis', Public Library of Science One, 10, e0140483.

Collin J F, Wells J, Czepulkowski B, Lyne L, Duriez P, Banham A H, Mufti G J, Guinn B A (2015), 'A Novel Zinc Finger Gene, ZNF465, is Inappropriately Expressed in Presentation Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Cells', Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer, 54, 288-302.

Hardwick N R, Buchan S, Ingram W, Khan G, Vittes G, Rice J, Pulford K, Mufti G J, Stevenson F K, Guinn B A (2013), 'An Analogue Peptide from the Cancer Testis Antigen, PASD1, Induces CD8+ T Cell-responses against Naturally Processed Peptide', Cancer Immunity, 13, 16-26.

Liberante F G, Pellagatti A, Boncheva V, Bowen D T, Mills K I, Boultwood J, Guinn B A (2013), 'High and Low, but not Intermediate, PRAME Expression Levels are Poor Prognostic Markers in Myelodysplastic Syndrome at Disease Presentation', British Journal of Haematology, 162, 282-284.

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list


  • Blood Sciences

  • Cancer Biology

  • Clinical Biochemistry

  • Clinical Haematology

  • Reviews in Biomedical Science

  • Final Year Dissertations

  • Professional Skills in Biomedical Science

  • Molecular Genomics and Proteomics

  • Essential Skills in Biomedical Science


  • Current Topics in Biomedical Science

  • Cell & Molecular Biology of Cancer

  • Ethics and Statistics

  • Tumour Immunology and Microenvironment

  • MSc Translational Oncology – lab-based project

Research PhDs

Dr Guinn welcomes applications in

  • identification and characterisation of novel antigens for the immunotherapy of ovarian cancer

  • identification and characterisation of novel antigens for the immunotherapy of pancreatic cancer

  • characterisation of novel antigens identified in adult B-cell acute lymphocytic leukaemia using proto-arrays

  • characterisation of endometrial disease through serum profiling

  • impact of hypoxia on antigen expression in leukaemia

Completed PhDs 

Fidelia Bature, Patterns of Signs and Symptoms Preceding Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis: A Cross Sectional Study (2018), Institute of Health Research, University of Bedfordshire, second supervisor.

Emma Buick, The Loss of PI3K C2b is Associated with a Heightened Immune Response (2016), University of Bedfordshire, second supervisor.

Ghazala Khan, Characterisation of the Expression of Biomarkers and Tumour Antigens in Ovarian Cancer and Myeloid Leukaemia (2016), University of Bedfordshire, first supervisor.

Nicola Hardwick, Characterisation of PASD1 as a Target for AML Immunotherapy (2008), King’s College London, first supervisor.

Adam T C Cheuk, Immunogene Therapy of AML: Direct Comparison of B7-1, B7-2 and 4-1BBL (2005), King’s College London, first supervisor.

Current PhD supervision

TBC, Identification of novel biomarkerks in sarcoidosis (January 2019 – Present), University of Hull, first supervisor. 

János Kovács, Thymus involution and potential replacement with a 3D printed organoid. (September 2018 – Present). University of Hull, 2ndsupervisor.

Leah Cooksey, Determination of the origins of endometriosis and identification of novel taregts for therapy (September 2018 - present), University of Hull, first supervisor. 

Kelly Grayson, Identification and Characterisation of Novel Urine Biomarkers for the Earlier Detection of Ovarian Cancer (March 2017 – present), University of Hull, first supervisor.

Eithar Mohamed, Identification of New Diagnostic/Prognostic Biomarkers for Ovarian Cancer using Proteomics (January 2017 – present), University of Khartoum, Sudan, co-supervisor.

Holly Wilkinson, Comparing the Effectiveness of Polymer Debriding Devices Using a Porcine Wound Biofilm Model (October 2015 – present), University of Hull, second supervisor.

Sarah Argyle, Investigating the role of microRNA168 in modulating radiotherapy response in oesophageal adenocarcinoma (September 2014 – Present). University of Hull, 2nd supervisor.


Teaching awards and accolades

SFHEA, December 2018, University of Hull

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2012)

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Genetics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth (1991)

  • PhD (Medicine), University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff (1995)

External roles

  • Founding Editor-in-Chief, Biomarkers in Cancer

  • Editor, Journal of Biochemistry

  • Senior Editor,Vaccines and Vaccinations

  • Associate Editor, Immunotherapy Insights

  • Invited Member of the International Consortium for Cell Therapy and Immunotherapy

  • Executive Committee Member, International Society for the Cell and Gene Therapy of Cancer

  • Cancer Research UK Ambassador.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) Ambassador

  • External Examiner, Biomedical Sciences, University of Newcastle 

Awards and accolades

  • Invited Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (2014)

  • Wellcome Trust, Value in People Award

  • Leukaemia Research Fund of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Edward Christie Stevens Postdoctoral Fellowship, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto.

  • Leukaemia Research Fund Gordon Piller PhD Studentship.