BSc BM PhD PCME FRCS (England)
- Primary position:
- Senior Lecturer in Surgery
- Other positions:
- Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist
Alex Mirnezami is a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Surgeon in the department of surgery, with a specialist interest in the field of colorectal surgery. He completed his medical degree at the University of Southampton in 1995, having previously obtained a first class BSc as an intercalated student in 1994.
His medical training involved various junior doctor posts within the Wessex region and he obtained his membership of The Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1999. He re-joined the University in 2000 as an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow working in Dr Jeremy Blaydes’ lab, and was awarded his PhD in 2004.
He was appointed to a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist position in 2008 and commenced as Consultant Surgeon and Senior Lecturer in 2009, working within the laboratory group headed by Professor Graham Packham. His work is divided between the laboratory and the main hospital.
BSc (First Class Honours), Biomedical Sciences, University of Southampton 1994
BM, University of Southampton 1995
PhD, University of Southampton 2004
PCME, University of Wales College of Medicine 2007
FRCS, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2009
Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist in Surgery
Senior Lecturer and Consultant Colorectal Surgeon
Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust
ACPGBI Colorectal Fellowship - Leeds General Infirmary
Clinical Lecturer in Surgery
University of Southampton
Wessex Higher Surgical Training Programme
- Basingstoke Hospital
- Southampton General Hospital
- Portsmouth Hospital
- Poole Hospital
MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Wessex Basic Surgical Training Programme
- Bournemouth Hospital
- Poole Hospital
- Southampton Hospital
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major public health issue and represents the second most common cause of cancer related death in Europe. Metastases are the principle cause of death in CRC and occur in up to 1 in 4 patients at initial presentation and additionally affect 50% of patients who undergo “curative” surgical resection. The vast majority of patients with CRC metastases remain incurable and can expect a median survival of less than 2 years even with the most advanced biological therapies available. These results highlight the pressing need to identify new molecular targets for the inhibition and treatment of metastases in CRC.
Our goal is to identify novel molecular targets in colorectal cancer initiation and progression through a molecular dissection of pathogenic pathways operating in cancer cells.
One pathway identified previously involves regulation of the p53 tumour suppressor protein in epithelial cancers. Working in Dr Blaydes’ group, I was able to demonstrate that the transcriptional co-repressor CtBP2 interacts with the Hdm2 onco-protein. Recruitment of the CtBP2 co-repressor by Hdm2 results in a promoter selective repression of p53 dependent transcription. This effect is diminished under hypoxic conditions through a presumed NADH-induced conformational change in the CtBP2 molecule, preventing the Hdm2-CtBP2 interaction.
Current work is focused on the identification of microRNAs (miRNAs) involved in colorectal carcinogenesis. MiRNAs represent a fascinating and recently identified class of small regulatory RNA molecules that play important roles in key cellular processes such as differentiation, metabolism, proliferation, and survival. Several lines of evidence currently indicate an involvement of miRNAs in human carcinogenesis. MiRNA expression is deregulated in several human cancers, and over 50% of miRNA genes are located within or close to chromosomally fragile sites, regions of loss of heterozygosity, amplification, and breakpoints associated with carcinogenesis. Many oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes are believed to be regulated by miRNAs, and it is likely that a fuller dissection of the cellular and molecular pathways controlled by miRNAs will provide new insights into tumorigenic mechanisms in colorectal cancer.
In addition, we also undertake clinical research into focused aspects of colorectal cancer disease behaviour and management.
Academic unit: Cancer Sciences Academic Unit
Affiliate academic units: Cancer Sciences Research group
Supervisor and examiner of 4th year student projects, Intercalated projects, and PhD students.
Third year students Surgery attachment coordinator.
Chief investigator for two NIHR portfolio studies on colorectal cancer and Peritoneal surface malignancies.
Mr Alex Mirnezami
Phone: (023) 8079 5170