Dr Barbara Guinn

Dr Barbara Guinn

Reader in Biomedical Sciences

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Department of Biomedical Sciences

Qualifications

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

Summary

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

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

- Current Topics in Biomedical Sciences

- Literature Review for MBiochem students

- Independent Research Projects for MSc Biomedical Sciences and MBiochem students

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Journal Article

Inhibition of arginine methylation impairs platelet function

Marsden, A. J., Riley, D. R., Barry, A., Khalil, J. S., Guinn, B., 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

A Novel HAGE/WT1-ImmunoBody® Vaccine Combination Enhances Anti-Tumour Responses When Compared to Either Vaccine Alone

Almshayakhchi, R., Nagarajan, D., Vadakekolathu, J., Guinn, B. A., Reeder, S., Brentville, V., …McArdle, S. (2021). A Novel HAGE/WT1-ImmunoBody® Vaccine Combination Enhances Anti-Tumour Responses When Compared to Either Vaccine Alone. Frontiers in Oncology, 11, https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.636977

Love is in the hair: arginine methylation of human hair proteins as novel cardiovascular biomarkers

Marsden, A. J., Riley, D. R., Birkett, S., Rodriguez-Barucg, Q., Guinn, B. A., Carroll, S., …Beltran-Alvarez, P. (in press). Love is in the hair: arginine methylation of human hair proteins as novel cardiovascular biomarkers. Amino acids, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-021-03024-5

Identification of Genes Whose Expression Overlaps Age Boundaries and Correlates with Risk Groups in Paediatric and Adult Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Davis, L., Mills, K. I., Orchard, K. H., & Guinn, B. A. (2020). Identification of Genes Whose Expression Overlaps Age Boundaries and Correlates with Risk Groups in Paediatric and Adult Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Cancers, 12(10), 1-22. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12102769

Serum-profiling identifies ibrutinib as a treatment option for young adults with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Jordaens, S., Cooksey, L., Bonney, S., Orchard, L., Coutinho, M., Van Tendeloo, V., …Guinn, B. (2020). Serum-profiling identifies ibrutinib as a treatment option for young adults with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. British journal of haematology, 189(3), 500-512. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16407

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.

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

Article Processing Costs

Funder

Breakthrough Cancer Research

Grant

£1,800.00

Started

1 April 2021

Status

Ongoing

Project

Using art to raise awareness of endometriosis

Funder

The Bay Gallery

Grant

£68.00

Started

1 June 2021

Status

Ongoing

Project

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

Funder

FRAME

Grant

£1,950.00

Started

1 July 2019

Status

Complete

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Guinn welcomes applications from students who want to study postgraduate research degrees (MSc by Research 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 PhD students

Eithar Mohamed 2020 - Present.

Leah Cooksey 2018 - Present.

Kelly Grayson 2017 - Present.

Completed 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

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

2021

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

2021

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

Cancer Research U.K. Ambassador

2007

External examiner role

External examiner for MSc Medical Molecular Biology with Genetics - 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

2020

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)

2021

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

2019

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

Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB)

2014

Fellow of the Higher Education Association (FHEA)

2012 - 2019

Associate of the Higher Education Academy (AHEA)

2011 - 2012

Genetics Society

1990

Other

Grant Reviewer - Cancer Research Trust NZ

2021 - 2021

Grant reviewer for the Cancer Research Trust NZ