Professor Sue Burchill

Professor Sue Burchill

Professor of Adolescent and Paediatric Cancer Research/ School of Medicine Director of Postgraduate Research

0113 2065873

Summary: My primary research interest is metastatic drug resistant disease. I lead the Paediatric and Adolescent Oncology group.

Location: Room 2.15, Cancer Research Unit, SJUH


Research interests: Metastatic drug resistant disease responsible for recurrence and relapse. Neuroblastoma. Ewing’s sarcoma. Circulating biomarkers. Targeted therapy. Cancer-initiating stem-like cells. 

Professor Burchill joined the Cancer Research Unit (CRU), Leeds in 1992. Funded by the Candlelighters Trust, she came to establish a translational research programme in childhood and adolescent cancers. The multidiscipline philosophy of the CRU was an important factor attracting Sue to Leeds, providing an environment for collaboration with paediatric oncologists, pathologists, surgeons and cytogeneticists that shared the same vision to transfer scientific knowledge into the clinic with the goal of improving outcome for children with cancer.

Sue’s primary research interest is the metastatic drug resistant disease that is frequently responsible for relapse and recurrence. This disease continues to pose the most difficult challenge for the management and successful treatment of many children and adolescents with cancer, including most of those diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma or neuroblastoma. Despite this the development of metastatic drug resistant disease remains poorly understood, and methods in current clinical practice fail to reliably detect the low level disease that is responsible for metastasis and relapse.

Sue’s research focuses on identifying and validating accurate and informative nucleic acid biomarkers for the early detection of metastatic disease, identification of prognostic groups and monitoring of disease course and response to therapy. The interest in such markers is intensified by the need for novel, more effective therapeutics to target this metastatic disease, and using a comprehensive range of preclinical models and clinical samples the group also study the initiation and development of cancer to identify and validate novel targets for the development of more effective therapies.