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Dr Simon Crabb BSc, MBBS, MRCP, PhD

Associate Professor in Medical Oncology

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Dr Simon Crabb is Associate Professor in Medical Oncology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Dr Crabb graduated in medicine from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1996. He joined the University of Southampton in 2002 as a Cancer Research UK Clinical Research Fellow and was awarded his PhD in 2006 for work involving novel histone deacetylase inhibitors. Following a Clinical Research Fellowship at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, he returned to the Cancer Sciences Unit in Southampton where he now works as an Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology.

Dr Crabb’s research interests are in epigenetic therapeutic agents, mechanisms of systemic treatment resistance and the development of molecularly targeted therapeutic strategies. Primarily these interests are applied to bladder cancer and prostate cancer. In addition to laboratory work, he is an active clinical and translational researcher who leads and collaborates on a number of early phase clinical trials for genitourinary cancers.


BSc, Biochemistry, University of London, 1993
MBBS, Medicine, University of London, 1996
MRCP, Royal College of Physicians, 2000
PhD, University of Southampton, 2006

Appointments held

Associate Professor in Medical Oncology, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine

Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust






Research interests

Dr Crabb's laboratory and clinical research interests are focussed on the development of new therapeutic options for genitourinary cancers. Current areas of interest are as follows.

Epigenetic Therapeutics

In addition to abnormalities of DNA sequence, complex epigenetic abnormalities are also critical to cancer development and are attractive as potential therapeutic targets. Previous work has involved investigation of novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Current projects are investigating the impact on androgen receptor signalling of the histone methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) and the histone demethylase lysine-specific histone demethylase 1A (LSD1, KDM1A). Work is currently ongoing to develop understanding of how each of these enzymes might be targeted in novel therapeutic strategies to attenuate aberrant androgen receptor signalling in prostate cancer.

Mechanisms of Chemotherapy Resistance

The group is investigating mechanisms for the development of chemotherapy resistance in bladder and other cancers. The transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) controls expression of multiple target genes that mediate cellular protection through antioxidant response, cellular detoxification and altered drug uptake/efflux. Nrf2 targets (e.g., metallothionein, glutathione reductase) are associated with bladder cancer characteristics, outcomes and chemotherapy resistance. De-novo or acquired cisplatin resistance is a major therapeutic challenge in bladder cancer. Ongoing work is testing the hypothesis that Nrf2 is a mediator, in part, of cisplatin resistance in bladder cancer and potential means to reverse this therapeutically.

Molecularly Targeted Therapeutic Strategies

The group is looking at the potential to target aberrant cell signalling mechanisms, such as through the human epidermal growth factor receptor family, in bladder cancer. The group's interests are in developing novel approaches to therapeutic targeting of these receptors and downstream signalling pathways and the elucidation of resistance mechanisms to such strategies.

Academic unit(s)

Cancer Sciences Academic Unit

Affiliate academic unit(s)

Cancer Sciences Research group

Post Doctoral Supervision


Dr Sergio Regufe da Mota


Dr Sarah Bailey
Dr Annette Hayden

Doctoral Student Supervision


Bradleigh Whitton

James Douglas


Regina Mora Vidal

National Responsibilities

NCRI Bladder Cancer Clinical Studies Group member

NCRI Prostate Cancer Clinical Studies Group member

Chair, Advanced Disease Subgroup, NCRI Bladder Cancer Clinical Studies Group

Advanced Prostate Cancer Subgroup member, NCRI Prostate Cancer Clinical Studies Group

CRUK Experimental Medicine Expert Review Panel member

ECMC Combination Alliance Extended Joint Steering Committee member

Association for Cancer Research Executive Committee member


Book Section(s)

  • The significance and function of BAG-1 in breast cancer - Cutress, Ramsay I., Crabb, S.J., Sharp, A., Townsend, P.A. and Packham, G.. In New Developments in Breast Cancer Research - Yao, Andrew P. (ed.)
    Published by:
    Horizons in Cancer Research
    Page Range:

BM5 and BM4. Provides clinical teaching to all years, based at Southampton General Hospital

Head of Field for Oncology for BMedSc projects.

Dr Simon Crabb
Somers Cancer Research Building Southampton General Hospital
Mailpoint 824 Tremona Road Southampton SO16 6YD

Room Number: SGH/CSB/MP824

Telephone: (023) 8120 5170
Facsimile: (023) 8120 5152

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