Dr Justin Sturge


Faculty of Health Sciences


01482 465316

Dr Sturge is a cell biologist who leads the Endo180 Cancer Team, the winners of the Educate North Research Team Of The Year in 2016.

His post-doctoral work was conducted with Professor Gareth E Jones at King's College London (1998-2001) and Professor Clare M Isacke at the Institute of Cancer Research (2001-2006).

Dr Sturge was appointed Non-Clinical Lecturer at Imperial College London (2006-2011), Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological, Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, University of Hull (2012-2016) and Reader in the School of Life Sciences, University of Hull (2016).

For more information see his blog.


Research Interests

  • Understanding how the receptor Endo180 contributes to the different stages of cancer

  • Using the latest technologies to translate this knowledge into better survival rates for cancer patients

Research groups

Collaborators on externally funded projects

Research groupings at University of Hull

Lead Scientist on directing the mechanobiology of chronic disease towards improved healthcare

Collaborators in the School of Life Sciences

Collaborators in Hull York Medical School

Collaborators in Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences:

Collaborator in Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Lynsey Corless (LC)

Collaborator on


Sturge J, 'Endo180 at the Cutting Edge of Bone Cancer Treatment and Beyond', Journal of Pathology, 238, pp 485-488 (2016)

Caley M P, King H, Shah N, Wang K, Waxman J, Rodriguez-Teja M, Sturge J, 'Tumor-Associated Endo180 Requires Stromal-Derived LOX to Promote Metastatic Prostate Cancer Cell Migration on Human ECM Surfaces', Clinical and Experimental Metastasis, 33, pp 151-165 (2016)

J Sturge et al, 'AGE Modified Basement Membrane Cooperates with Endo180 to Promote Epithelial Cell Invasiveness and Decrease Prostate Cancer Survival', Journal of Pathology, 235, pp 581-592 (2015)

J Sturge et al, 'Survival Outcome and EMT Suppression Mediated by a Lectin Domain Interaction of Endo180 and CD147', Molecular Cancer Research, 2015, 13, pp 538-547 (2015)

J Sturge et al, 'Endo180 Modulation by Bisphosphonates and Diagnostic Accuracy in Metastatic Breast Cancer', British Journal of Cancer, 108, pp 163-169 (2013)

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

Level 4

BSc Biomedical Science

  • Skills for Biomedical and Human Biology Sciences

  • Human Physiology

  • Cell Structure and Function

Level 5

BSc Biomedical Science

  • Molecular Genetics and Proteomics

  • Molecular Cell Biology and Histopathology

  • Professional and Research Skills for Biomedical Scientists

  • Biological Basis of Disease

  • Molecular Cell Biology

Level 6

BSc Biomedical Science

  • 20 Credit Research Project

  • 40 Credit Research Project

  • Cancer Biology

  • Reviews in Biomedical Science

BSc Biochemistry

  • Reviews in Biochemistry

Level 7

MSc Biomedical Science

  • Current Topics in Biomedical Science (Module Coordinator)

  • Research Skills in The Biosciences

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer

MSc Translational Oncology

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer

  • Organ Specific Cancers: From-Bench-To-Bedside

  • Tumour Immunology and Microenvironment

  • Oncology Research Skills

  • Cancer and Modifiable Risks (Module Coordinator)

  • Research Project and Dissertation

MSc Cancer Imaging

  • Organ Specific Cancers: From-Bench-To-Bedside

MSc Cancer Rehabilitation

  • Cancer and Modifiable Risks (Module Coordinator)

Research PhDs

Dr Sturge welcomes enquiries from potential PhD and MSc (Res) students interested in exploiting the role of mechanobiology in chronic disease as a diagnostic and therapeutic target. Projects are particularly focused on the association between diabetes, metabolic disorders, obesity and the promotion of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

His team has been the host laboratory for external Masters and Bachelors research project students from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Tokyo Medical & Dental University, University of British Columbia and University of Newcastle, as well as hosting postdoctoral fellows from Portugal, Czech Republic, Mexico and India.

Dr Sturge has mentored junior research fellows, PhD students and lecturers since starting his first academic position at Imperial College London.

Completed PhDs


  • Julian Hendrik Gronau, The Role of Endo180 in Prostate Cancer Cell Migration and Metastasis, Imperial College London (2013)

  • Kai Wang, Investigating the Biological and Clinical Implications of Soluble Endo180, University of Hull (2017)


  • Susann Bruche, Dual Impact of Altered Extracellular Matrix and Intracellular Signals Generated by S1P/SphK1 and the Collagen Modulating Receptor Endo180 during Cardiac Fibrosis, Imperial College London (2010)

  • Claudia Breit, The Role of Endo180 in Prostate Cancer Progression, Imperial College London (2010)

  • Kamil Talar, Stiffness Induced Disruption of Endo180-CD147 Suppressor Complex as a Biophysical Trigger for Invasive Pancreatic Cancer, university of Hull (2017)

  • George Firth, The Synthesis and Validation of Multimodal PET/Fluorescence Zinc Sensing Probes as Potential Imaging Agents for Prostate Cancer, University of Hull (2017)

Current PhD supervisions 


  • Mitchell Clarke,ENDOGLOWS: Development of a Multimodal Bioimaging Platform for Detecting the Switch to Aggressive Prostate Cancer, University of Hull (2015- )


  • Matthew Walker, The Role of Endo180 in Pancreatic Cancer Progression, University of Hull (2017- )

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2008)

  • Certificate for Advanced Study in Learning and Teaching (CASLAT), Imperial College London (2008)

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Biochemistry, Imperial College London (1998)

  • BSc Hons Pharmacology, University of Portsmouth (1992)

External roles

Founding member of PESProC: Physical and Engineering Sciences Prostate Cancer Network, which includes universities (Bath, Cardiff, Dundee, Glasgow, Heriot Watt, Hull, UCL, Loughborough, Birmingham), Prostate Cancer UK, Prostaid, Tayside Urological Cancer Network and industrial partners (Avacta Life Sciences Ltd, Gwent Group Ltd, F Scan and Censis).

Peer reviewed for multiple journal titles including The Journal of Pathology, British Journal of Cancer, Clinical and Experimental Metastasis, Trends in Cell Biology, PLoS ONE, Experimental Cell Research, Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, Cancer Letters, Proteomics and Cytoskeleton; and research funding bodies including the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Worldwide Cancer Research, The Big C and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Engaged with the public through the delivery of presentations in lay terms to charity personnel and fundraisers (Prostate Cancer Charity, Prostate UK, Prostate Cancer Research Foundation), patient support groups (Basingstoke, Humberside), the general public (rotary clubs) and donators (Tony and Rita Gallagher, Lord Harris of Peckham).

Attendee of social events held by Prostate Cancer UK for champions and donators, including the annual Prostate Cancer Month Awareness dinner at the House of Lords (2009), Grand Connaught Rooms (2011) and Research in Action at Lords Cricket Ground (2010).

Awards and accolades

Dr Sturge has been awarded £2.55 million in research funding; including £1.34 million as Principal Investigator on translational oncology research projects funded by the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Prostate Cancer UK (formerly The Prostate Cancer Charity), Breast Cancer Now (formerly Breast Cancer Campaign), Worldwide Cancer Research (formerly Association of International Cancer Research) and the Rosetrees Trust; £184,000 as co-investigator on a project funded by the Wellbeing of Women; and £179,000 as supervisor of postdoctoral fellowships and PhD studentships funded by Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugese Government), the China Scholarship Council (Chinese Government), the British Council (Uruguay) and the Royal Society (the Newton Fund; link to Mexico). He has also led institutional funding bids totalling £847,000 for highly specialised microscopy equipment such as the first installation of the Image Xpress Micro 4 in the UK at the University of Hull.

Funding awards

  • Differentiating the malignant potential of pancreatic cysts, Anthony Maraveyas (co-PI), Justin Sturge (co-PI), Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, £400,000 (2017-2020)

  • Gene-editing of MRC2 in prostate cancer cell lines, Daniel Diaz-Garcia (visiting scientist), Justin Sturge (host lab), Newton Fund Development Award, £1,400 (2017)

  • Procurement of Image Xpress Micro 4, Justin Sturge, University of Hull, £235,000 (2016)

  • Development of Endo180 protein fragments, Mercedes Rodriguez-Teja (visiting scientist), Justin Sturge (host lab), British Council, £7,000 (2016)

  • ENDOGLOWS: development of a multimodal bioimaging platform for detecting the switch to aggressive prostate cancer, Justin Sturge (PI), Graeme Stusiuk (co-I), Prostate Cancer UK, S14-017, £100,000 (2015-2018)

  • The role of Endo180 in metastatic bone disease in advanced breast cancer, Justin Sturge (PI), Carlo Palmieri (co-I), Breast Cancer Campaign (Breast Cancer Now), 2013MaySP021, £20,000 (2013-2015)

  • Investigating the Biological and Clinical Implications of Endo180 in Breast Cancer, Justin Sturge (PI), China Scholarship Council and University of Hull, £96,000 (2013-2016)

  • Investigation of the collagen receptor Endo180 in metastatic bone disease associated with prostate cancer, Justin Sturge (PI), Jonathan Waxman (co-I), the Rosetree’s Trust, M59, £51,000 (2011-2014)

  • Larp1, EMT and chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer, Sarah Blagden (PI), Justin Sturge (co-I), Sadam Ghaem-Maghami (co-I), Euan Stronach (co-I), Wellbeing of Women, RG1319, £198,589 (2011-2014)

  • Interaction of circulating tumour cells with vascular endothelium via the C-type lectin receptor Endo180, Justin Sturge (PI), Ana Violetta Fonseca (co-I), Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, £27,000 (2010-2011)

  • How to prevent the spread of prostate cancer, Justin Sturge (PI), Jonathan Waxman (co-I), The Rosetree’s Trust, M40, £30,000 (2010-2013)

  • The role of SK1 activity in prostate cancer cell motility, invasion and metastasis, Justin Sturge (joint PI), Dmitry Pshezhetskiy (joint PI), Jonathan Waxman (co-I), The Prostate Cancer Charity and Milly Apthorp Charitable Trust, 110854, £124,492 (2009-2012)

  • Pro-inflammatory macrophages induce chemoresistance and migration of cancer cells through sphingosine kinase-1 activation, Dmitry Pshezhetskiy (PI), Justin Sturge (co-I), Joao Nunes (co-I), Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, £48,000 (2009-2013)

  • Upgrade of microscopes and cell imaging suite, Michael Seckl (PI), Justin Sturge (co-I), Charles Coombes (co-I), Eric Lam (co-I), Carlo Palmieri (co-I), Ernesto Yague (co-I), Olivier Pardo (co-I), Dmitry Pshezhetskiy (co-I), Department of Heath, £500,000 (2008)

  • Prognostic value and cooperation of collagen degradation pathways in prostate cancer metastasis, Justin Sturge (PI), Association of International Cancer Research, 08-080, £186,425 (22008-2011)

  • Cooperation between pericellular and intracellular collagen degradation pathways during prostate cancer invasion, Justin Sturge (PI), Marjorie Walker (co-I), Jonathan Waxman (co-I), The Prostate Cancer Charity, 110719, £154,969 (award declined) (2008-2011)

  • Microscope upgrade for prostate cancer research, Justin Sturge (PI), Prostate Cancer Research Foundation, £12,000 (2008)

  • The role of Endo180 in prostate cancer cell migration and metastasis, Justin Sturge (PI), Jonathan Waxman (co-I), The Prostate Cancer Charity, 110632, £97,093 (2007-2011)

  • Procurement of Image Xpress Micro, Justin Sturge (co-PI), Olivier Pardo (co-PI), Jonathan Waxman (co-I), Michael Seckl (co-I), Charles Coombes (co-I), Eric Lam (co-I), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, £100,000 (2007)

  • The role of Endo180 in prostate cancer in bone metastasis, Justin Sturge (PI), Jonathan Waxman (co-I), Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust (Tony Gallagher and Lord Harris), £175,693 (2007-2011)

Professional highlights

EDUCATE North Research Team Of The Year (2016).

Pancreatic Cancer UK strategy panel member (2016).

Established Hull Prostate Cancer Interest Group (2016).

Organised and chaired National Prostate Cancer Research Symposium (London, 2010) and Prostate Cancer Charity Symposium (London, 2011).

Regularly feature in University of Hull and funder press releases leading to media interviews, press, TV and radio coverage; including Hull Daily Mail, Prostate Cancer News Today, Medical Xpress, Renal and Urology News (November 2014); Hull Daily Mail and interview on KCFM radio (March 2014); Yorkshire Post (January 2013); Prostate Cancer Charity research news (December 2011); Association of International Cancer Research video (January 2011); Prostate Cancer Charity video (November 2010); Times Careers Section (November 2007); Washington Post, The Times, The Daily Mail, London Evening Standard, The Metro, BBC News Online and ITN News (September 2003).

Research case studies highlighted in University of Hull's Annual Report (2015/16), Venn Alumni magazine (2015/16), Research Brochure (2015/16, 2014/15), and featured on campus billboards promoting research breakthroughs at the University (2016).

Young Prostate Researchers Symposium, Cambridge (2009); Prostate Cancer Support Organisation, Basingstoke (2009); The Prostate Cancer Charity, London (2009, 2007), World Cancer Congress, Beijing (2009), Cancer and Bone Society, Heriott Watt University (2008), London Prostate Interest Group (2007).

Invited seminar speaker at University of Cardiff (2016), University of Hull (2015, 2014, 2013), University of Texas (2012), University of East Anglia (2012), University of Birmingham (2009), Department of Investigative Medicine, Imperial College London (2009), Queen Mary University London (2008), CRUK Lincolns Inn (2007), INSERM Paris (2007); National Cancer Research Institute, Birmingham (2006).

Honor Fell Travel Awards (1999, 2002, 2004) from British Society for Cell Biology.

British Society for Cell Biology Best Poster Prize (2004).

Wellcome and Toulman Prizes for Excellence in Pharmacology (1991) at University of Portsmouth.