Professor Pedro R. Cutillas

BSc, PhD
Professor of Cell Signalling and Proteomics
Group Leader
Research Focus

My research group uses unique proteomics and computational approaches to understand how cell signalling pathways driven by the activity of protein kinases contribute to the development of cancer. Increasing this knowledge will be invaluable in advancing personalised cancer therapies.

Key Publications

Computational Analysis of Cholangiocarcinoma Phosphoproteomes Identifies Patient-Specific Drug Targets. Cancer Res (2021) 81(22):5765-5776. PMID: 34551960

Drug ranking using machine learning systematically predicts the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs. Nat Commun (2021) 12(1):1850. PMID: 33767176

Reconstructing kinase network topologies from phosphoproteomics data reveals cancer-associated rewiring. Nat Biotechnol (2020) 38(4):493-502. PMID: 31959955

Proteomic and genomic integration identifies kinase and differentiation determinants of kinase inhibitor sensitivity in leukemia cells. Leukemia (2018) 32(8):1818-1822. PMID: 29626197

Major Funding
  • 2020-2023 - Blood Cancer UK, Signalling pathways that determine responses of AML cells to FLT3 inhibitors, £245,281
  • 2018-2022- MRC Medical Research Council, Translational Biology iCASE Programme - Grant, £202,131.99
  • 2017-2021- CRUK, £350,000
  • 2017-2019- Barts Charity, Proteomics mass spectrometry for the Barts Post-Genomic Phenotype Unit, £371,000
Other Activities
Research

I am interested in understanding how cell signalling pathways driven by the activity of protein kinases contribute to the development of cancer. Signalling pathways do not work in isolation but form a complex network of biochemical reactions that integrate extracellular signals into a coordinated cell biological response.

Essentially all cancers deregulate one or several components of this biochemical network, but unfortunately, cancers are heterogeneous in the way signalling is perturbed. In practice, this means that novel targeted therapies against signalling nodes do not work equally well in all patients. Even those patients that initially respond eventually develop resistance.

To understand the mechanisms underlying this heterogeneity, I developed methodology based on a technique named mass spectrometry and on computational science. These techniques can be used to measure how the signalling network is wired in individual cancer populations in a comprehensive and unbiased manner.

My group is now using these unique resources to investigate the fundamental properties of signalling networks and to understand how signalling heterogeneity in cancer (with particular focus on haematological malignancies) contribute to intrinsic and acquired resistance to compounds that target signalling enzymes.

Other Activities
Major Funding
  • 2020-2023 - Blood Cancer UK, Signalling pathways that determine responses of AML cells to FLT3 inhibitors, £245,281
  • 2018-2022- MRC Medical Research Council, Translational Biology iCASE Programme - Grant, £202,131.99
  • 2017-2021- CRUK, £350,000
  • 2017-2019- Barts Charity, Proteomics mass spectrometry for the Barts Post-Genomic Phenotype Unit, £371,000
  • 2015-2018- B.B.S.R.C., Systematic classificiation of phosphorylation sites for an integrative analysis of kinase signalling, £374,677
  • 2015-2017- Barts Charity, Personalizing cancer treatments, £475,828

Recent Publications

Implementation of Clinical Phosphoproteomics and Proteomics for Personalized Medicine. Casado P, Hijazi M, Gerdes H et al. (2022) 2420(2) 87-106
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34905168

Abstract LBA013: Phosphoproteomics reveals active drug targets on pathways of resistance and predicts response to midostaurin plus chemotherapy in FLT3 mutant-positive acute myeloid leukemia Nobre LV, Basanta CC, Pedicona SF et al. (2021) (10) lba013-lba013

Activating mutations in BRAF disrupt the hypothalamo-pituitary axis leading to hypopituitarism in mice and humans Gualtieri A, Kyprianou N, Gregory LC et al. Nature Communications (2021) 12(7)

Drug ranking using machine learning systematically predicts the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs Gerdes H, Casado P, Dokal A et al. Nature Communications (2021) 12(7)

Computational Analysis of Cholangiocarcinoma Phosphoproteomes Identifies Patient-Specific Drug Targets. Khorsandi SE, Dokal AD, Rajeeve V et al. Cancer Res (2021) 81(2) 5765-5776
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34551960

Tgfbi production by macrophages contributes to an immunosuppressive microenvironment in ovarian cancer Lecker LSM, Berlato C, Maniati E et al. Cancer Research (2021) 81(7) 5706-5719

Targeted therapy for LIMD1-deficient non-small cell lung cancer subtypes Davidson K, Grevitt P, Contreras-Gerenas MF et al. Cell Death and Disease (2021) 12(7)

Adipocytes disrupt the translational programme of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia to favour tumour survival and persistence Heydt Q, Xintaropoulou C, Clear A et al. Nature Communications (2021) (1)

KDM5 inhibition offers a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of KMT2D mutant lymphomas Heward J, Konali L, D'Avola A et al. Blood (2021) 138(7) 370-381

Correction to 'Elucidation of the BMI1 interactome identifies novel regulatory roles in glioblastoma'. Freire-Benéitez V, Pomella N, Millner TO et al. NAR Cancer (2021) 3(2) zcab020
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34319293

For additional publications, please click here
Team

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr Pedro Casado-Izquierdo , Dr Maruan Hijazi-Vega, Dr Ana Levi

PhD Students
Mr Federico Pedicona, Mr Henry Gerdes

Mass Spectrometrist in this group
Dr Vinothini Rajeeve, Ruth Otunsola

Biography

I graduated with a PhD in 2004 from UCL. My studies (completed in the laboratories of Prof Mike Waterfield, Prof Rainer Cramer and Prof Al Burlingame) were on a project that investigated kidney physiology and were supervised by Prof Robert Unwin. I then completed postdoctoral training at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (UCL branch).

In 2007, I became lecturer at the Centre for Cell Signalling and in 2010 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer. After a period in the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (2012-2013), where I was Head of the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, I joined the Centre for Haemoto-Oncology in 2013 where I now lead the Integrative Cell Signalling and Proteomics Group.