Contact Details

The University of Aberdeen University of Aberdeen Institute of Medical Sciences
Room 5.32 Aberdeen,
AB25 2ZD Scotland UK
phone +44(0)1224 43 7818


Research Interests

Coordinated interactions between the extracellular environment and the intracellular milieu are fundamental for proper development and function of multicellular organisms. 

Aberrations in these interactions can lead to malformation and congenital diseases, and contribute to the development of cancer. In addition there are a large number of intracellular pathogens that hijack the ECM and/or the ECM interacting proteins to get inside the cells and elude the immune system.

We aim to understand how pathways downstream of adhesion receptors are transduced to the actin cytoskeleton and, in turn control processes such as re-arrangement of the ECM, cell differentiation and host-pathogen interactions.

Current Research

Currently we have three separate but overlapping lines of research:

1) We are investigating how  the mechano-sensing property of filamins is involved in the pathogenesis of the FLN-related diseases .


Filamins (FLN) are important actin-binding proteins with essential roles in development, tissue formation and morphogenesis. They are sensors for extracellular mechanical cues and play an important role in tumour formation and metastasis. Mutations in the FLN genes cause a wide range of human diseases. In addition to their cytoskeletal role FLN are involved in transcription regulation.


2) We are investigating how intracellular pathogens invade non phagocytic cells to escape innate immunity. 



Host defence mechanisms protect complex organisms against the attack of microbes. To elucidate these mechanisms, we investigate the strategies that intracellular pathogens have evolved to counteract phagocytic killing and establish infections.


3) We are developping tumor targeted drugs based on adhesion receptor recognition.




Prof David A. Calderwood (Yale University, CT)

Filamins function(s) and interaction with membrane receptors

Prof Iain McEwan (University of Aberdeen)

Filamin and androgen receptor interaction and complex function.

Prof Matteo Zanda (University of Aberdeen)

Cyclic peptides and peptidomimetics and cell adhesion. 

Dr Stefania Spano (University of Aberdeen)

Host-pathogen interaction in human macrophages.


Research Grants

Friends of Anchor logo

Targeting Filamin-androgen receptor interaction could represent a novel strategy for prostate cancer treatment.



Teaching Responsibilities

4th year BM4004/BM4010 Advanced Molecules, Membranes and Cells University of Aberdeen; lectures:

  • Cell-ECM interaction 1
  • Cell-ECM interaction 2

4th year MB4050 The Dynamic Cell University of Aberdeen; lectures: 

  • Introduction to Cytoskeleton 1
  • Introduction to Cytoskeleton 2
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Migration
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Workshop: Honours project Skills Workshop


3th year 3503 The Molecular Control of Cell Function University of Aberdeen; lectures: 

  • Cell-ECM interaction 1
  • Cell-ECM interaction 2


3th year 3006 Molecular Biology of the Cell University of Aberdeen; lectures: 

  • Cell architecture 1
  • Cell architecture 2
  • Cell architecture 3
  • Workshop: Cell Architecture

2th year BI25M5: Microbes , Infection and Immunity 

  • Practical: Identification & Growth of Pathogens


Further Info

Extra Research Activities