Dr Barbara Guinn

Dr Barbara Guinn

Reader in Biomedical Sciences

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Department of Biomedical Sciences


  • BSc (Aberystwyth University)
  • PhD (Cardiff University)


I am a Reader in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Hull. I have a BSc Genetics from University of Aberyswyth (1991) and a PhD from the University of Wales College of Medicine Cardiff (1995). I then worked at the University of Toronto as a postdoctoral fellow and started my own research group at King's College London in 1999.

I am interested in identifying antigens as targets for immunotherapy (where the immune system is stimulated to kill diseased cells) but we have also realised that disease-specific proteins can provide insights into the biology of disease and biomarkers for disease stage and survival.

Currently we are looking for antigenic targets for the targeted therapy of adult B-cell acute lymphocytic leukaemia, colon and ovarian cancer, as well as endometriosis and incidental lung nodules. We have shown that antigens can act as biomarkers for disease (diagnosis, survival and subtype) as well as providing new insights into the biology underlying these difficult to treat diseases.

Undergraduate - BSc Programmes

- Professional and Research Skills for Biomedical & Forensic Scientists (L5)

- Human Genetics (L6)

- Clinical Biochemistry (L6)

- Final Year Independent Projects (L6)

Postgraduate - MSc Programmes

- Cell & Molecular Biology of Cancer

- Literature Review for MBiochem students

- Independent Research Projects for MSc Biomedical Sciences and MBiochem students

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Journal Article

miRNA expression in acute myeloid leukaemia: new targets for therapy?

Fletcher, D., Brown, E., Javadala, J., Uysal-Onganer, P., & Guinn, B. (in press). miRNA expression in acute myeloid leukaemia: new targets for therapy?. eJHaem, https://doi.org/10.1002/jha2.441

Identification of biomarkers for the diagnosis and targets for therapy in patients with clear cell ovarian cancer: a systematic literature review

Butler, H., Saulat, O., & Guinn, B. A. (2022). Identification of biomarkers for the diagnosis and targets for therapy in patients with clear cell ovarian cancer: a systematic literature review. Carcinogenesis, 43(3), 183-189. https://doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgac012

Combined Metallomics/Transcriptomics Profiling Reveals a Major Role for Metals in Wound Repair

Wilkinson, H. N., Guinn, B. A., & Hardman, M. J. (2021). Combined Metallomics/Transcriptomics Profiling Reveals a Major Role for Metals in Wound Repair. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 9, Article 788596. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.788596

Survivin' acute myeloid leukaemia—a personalised target for inv(16) patients

Greiner, J., Brown, E., Bullinger, L., Hills, R. K., Morris, V., Döhner, H., …Guinn, B. A. (2021). Survivin’ acute myeloid leukaemia—a personalised target for inv(16) patients. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(19), Article 10482. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910482

Inhibition of arginine methylation impairs platelet function

Marsden, A. J., Riley, D. R. J., Barry, A., Khalil, J. S., Guinn, B. A., Kemp, N. T., …Beltran-Alvarez, P. (in press). Inhibition of arginine methylation impairs platelet function. ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science, https://doi.org/10.1021/acsptsci.1c00135

Research interests

My research interests focus around antigen identification reflecting my own background in genetics, immunology and cancer research. We use a range of techniques to identify and characterise antigens including SEREX, proto-arrays, gene expression arrays, RNA-seq, qPCR and pMHC arrays.

I am particularly interested in identifying new biomarkers for difficult to diagnose diseases such as endometriosis, ovarian cancer and lung nodules that develop into cancer. These are often difficult to treat diseases because of their late diagnosis.







Article Processing Costs


Breakthrough Cancer Research




1 April 2021




Impact of CO2 on antigen expression: new ways to induce immune responses against cancer?’






1 July 2019




Using art to raise awareness of endometriosis


The Bay Gallery




1 June 2021



Postgraduate supervision

Dr Guinn welcomes applications from students who want to study postgraduate research degrees (MSc by Research, MD and PhD). My group is particularly interested in difficult to diagnose and/or treat diseases. Currently this includes acute leukaemias, ovarian and lung cancer, and endometriosis, and has led to the identification of biomarkers for survival, target for therapies and improved our understanding of the biological basis of disease.

For more information about possible PhD projects please contact b.guinn@hull.ac.uk

Current MD/PhD students

Hannah Draper 2022 - Present.

Eithar Mohamed 2020 - Present.

Leah Cooksey 2018 - Present.

Kelly Grayson 2017 - Present.

Completed MD/PhD students

- Holly Wilkinson (2019) Exploring the role of metals and senescence in cutaneous wound healing. University of Hull.

- Sarah Edge (2019) Investigating the role of miRNA-187 and the downstream PI3K signalling pathway in modulating radiation sensitivity in oesophageal adenocarcinoma. University of Hull.

- Fidelia Bature (2017) Patterns of signs and symptoms preceding Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis: A cross sectional study. University of Bedfordshire.

- Ghazala Khan (2016) Characterisation of the expression of biomarkers and tumour antigens in ovarian cancer and myeloid leukaemia. University of Bedfordshire.

- Emma Buick (2016) The loss of PI3K C2a is associated with a heightened immune response. University of Bedfordshire.

- Nicola Hardwick (2008) Pre-clinical evaluation of immunotherapy for acute myeloid leukaemia with PASD1 peptide vaccination and autologous whole cell vaccines. King's College London.

- Adam T.C. Cheuk (2005) Immunogene therapy of murine and human acute myeloid leukaemia using costimulatory molecules: A comparison of the efficacy of B7-1, B7-2 and 4-1BBL. King's College London.

Current MSc by Research Students

Alice Fearn, First supervisor.

Elliott Brown, First supervisor.

Daiga Spore, Second supervisor.

Completed Masters (MPhil and MSc by Research) Students

- Sara Goodman (2020) Identification of novel tumour antigens in adults with B-cell acute lymphocytic leukaemia. University of Hull.

- Chloe Warren (2019) Investigating the role of CBX2 in models of triple negative breast cancer. University of Hull.

- Stephanie Jordaens (2019) Analysis of the expression of antigens in adult B-cell acute lymphocytic leukaemia. Erasmus + between University of Hull and University of Antwerp.

- Leah Cooksey (2018) Identification of novel tumour antigens for the immunotherapy of B-cell acute lymphocytic leukaemia. University of Hull.

- Laurie Freire Boullosa (2017) Characterisation of the expression of novel antigens in adult B-acute lymphocytic leukaemia. Erasmus + between University of Hull and University of Antwerp.

- Viktoriya Boncheva, MPhil (2014) The identification of tumour antigens recognised by patients with Dukes’ B reactive colorectal cancers. University of Bedfordshire.

- Hans Vergauwen (2011) Optimisation of the pMHC array for the identification of leukaemia-associated antigen-specific T cells in leukaemia patients. Erasmus + between University of Southampton & University of Antwerp.

- Frances Denniss (2006) The protein expression of two leukaemia associated antigens in AML: PASD1 and SSX2IP and the potential as targets for immunotherapy. King’s College London.

Charity role

Founding Member - Research Foundation for Ovarian Cancer (https://www.rffoc.org/)


Launch of Research Foundation for Ovarian Cancer web site (www.rffoc.org) and twitter (@RFFOC1) ready for fund raising to commence. First aim is to raise monies to support women in the Sudan afford blood tests and CT scans to confirm an ovarian cancer diagnosis. 2nd aim will be to fund research into a non-invasive test for ovarian cancer and help women, particularly in the global South, know when they need to access healthcare and which is the right type for them.

Raising money for Endometriosis Research (https://alumni.hull.ac.uk/DARODonationForm, designation 'Endometriosis Research')


Raising money for Endometriosis Research in the @GuinnLab through charitable donations from colleagues, friends and family.

Raising money for Endometriosis Research (https://www.gofundme.com/f/raising-money-for-endometriosis-research)


In August 2021 I wrote 'I am a researcher at the University of Hull and we want to develop new ways to diagnose endometriosis earlier and better understand this awful disease. Although we continue to apply for grants to fund our research we need some help paying for equipment and chemicals that will progress our research now. That way we can generate data quickly, and help make a difference ASAP.' It's now December 2021 and we have brought in grants from EACR-Novosanis and British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy to help pay for our lab consumables (plasticwear, test kits). Although this is helping us progress our research significantly we will continue to fund raise until we have a way to improve the ease of diagnosis and effectivity of treatment for endometriosis patients.

Cancer Research U.K. Ambassador


External examiner role

External examiner for MSc Medical Molecular Biology with Genetics and MRes in Molecular Medicine - University of Bangor

2021 - 2025

External Assessor for BSc Biomedical Sciences - Aberystwyth University

2019 - 2019

External Examiner to BSc Biomedical Sciences - Newcastle University

2017 - 2021

Journal editorial role

Guest Editor of the Special Issue on 'Molecular Mechanisms underlying, and Therapies targeting, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia' in International Journal of Molecular Sciences

2021 - 2021

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is the second most frequent haematological malignancy in the paediatric population and remains a leading cause of childhood cancer mortality. In adults AML is rare, increasing in incidence with age, but it is still the most common form of acute leukaemia. Paediatric AML is viewed as a separate disease to adult AML, thought to occur due to single genetic changes that alone are enough to cause AML at a young age. In adults it is thought a lifetime accumulation of genetic alterations leads to the development of disease in later life. In both patient groups, and despite improvements to patient outcomes and associated overall survival (OS) rates they offer, current therapies still have limitations. It is essential, therefore, that we continue to identify new targets for therapy so that we can widen the scope of future treatments and determine their relevance to paediatric and adult leukaemias. This special issue will focus on the identification and characterisation of the molecular mechanisms that underlie AML pathogenesis and new targets for the therapy of this rare and heterogenous disease. The aim is to review the state-of-the-art and look beyond current therapies to see where the future of AML treatment may reside. For more details see https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms/special_issues/Molecular_Myeloid

Associate Editor, Journal of Translational Medicine


Associate Editor for the ‘Translational Hematology’ section of Journal of Translational Medicine. Role includes assessing manuscripts in the field of Translational Hematology, guiding them through the peer review process and ensuring they adhere to the ethos, editorial standards, policies and scope of the journal. Associate Editors’ are encouraged to take an active interest in journal development and advocacy.

Editor-in-Chief Biomarkers in Cancer

2008 - 2019

Membership/Fellowship of professional body

European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)


Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)


Member of the Higher Education Academy since 2011 2011 AHEA 2012 FHEA 2019 SFHEA

Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB)


Fellow of the Higher Education Association (FHEA)

2012 - 2019

Associate of the Higher Education Academy (AHEA)

2011 - 2012

Genetics Society



Grant review for World Cancer Research Fund International

2022 - 2022

Reviewed a grant for World Cancer Research Fund International

Grant Reviewer - Cancer Research Trust NZ

2021 - 2021

Grant reviewer for the Cancer Research Trust NZ