BSc (Hons), PhD
- Primary position:
- Reader in Immunogenetics
Dr Sahota was appointed as Reader in 2006. He graduated in Biochemistry and obtained his PhD in Microbial Biochemistry from the University of London, UK followed by an appointment as Lecturer and Post-doctoral Scholar in Microbial Genetics at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. Following his return to the UK, Dr Sahota engaged different research interests, and undertook cancer research at St. George’s Hospital Medical School and the Charing Cross & Westminster Hospital Medical School, University of London (examining steroid receptors in breast cancer). He was subsequently appointed in 1992 as Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow / LRF Senior Scientist in the Cancer Sciences Division, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, before his current Faculty position.
Much of the earlier research work in Cancer Sciences, Southampton focused on developing immunogenetics to profile pathogenesis and progression in B-lymphocyte malignancy, with a special focus on multiple myeloma, a plasma cell tumour. More recent work has utilised genome wide whole exome sequencing to examine mutations to define B-cell tumour origins and behaviour, seeking to link genomic mutations with functional outcomes. Dr Sahota’s group is also interested in defining tumour-associated antigens, and in targeted immunotherapy using DNA vaccine designs. His group comprises post-doctoral scientists, visiting fellows, PhD students (non-clinical and clinical), and 4th year medical undergraduates. The group is based within the Faculty of Medicine.
BSc (Hons), Biochemistry, University of London 1977
PhD, University of London 1984
Postdoctoral Scholar and Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, University of California Los Angeles, USA
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, St. George’s Hospital Medical School / Department of Medical Oncology, Charing Cross & Westminster Hospital Medical School, University of London
Postdoctoral Fellow / Senior Research Fellow / LRF Senior Scientist, Cancer Sciences Division, School of Medicine, University of Southampton
Reader, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton 2006 –
The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)
Multiple myeloma – Pathogenesis, Progression and Targeted Therapy
The group has a particular focus on understanding the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable disease where malignant plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow. One debilitating feature of the disease results from multiple osteolytic foci in the skeleton, induced by tumour growth. MM is often preceded by a proliferative condition termed monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), where a limited plasma cell expansion occurs, but it is as yet not clear what factors underlie transformation to full blown disease.
Plasma cells are terminally differentiated B-cells, but in MM, questions still remain regarding the maturation status of the cell giving rise to this tumour. We have been interested in utilizing immunoglobulin variable (V) region gene analysis to track disease evolution in B-cell tumours. V genes have also been shown to be useful, objective markers for disease classification and can predict clinical behaviour. Our group has been instrumental in defining key aspects of the pathogenesis and serial progression of MGUS to MM using this approach. On-going studies are aimed at understanding which molecular mechanisms may be contributing to malignant transformation and progression, including use of next generation sequencing to interrogate the tumour exome and genome. More recently, we were part of the European Myeloma Network specialist network ‘MSCNET’ investigating a role for a stem cell in MM evolution. Current collaborative work funded under the EU FP7 programme as part of ‘OVER-MyR’ is aimed at evaluating MM:niche cell interactions, especially in relation to mechanisms of drug resistance.
We are also interested in exploiting insights from pathogenesis of MM to inform targeted therapy, specifically by DNA vaccination. The detailed characterization on MM V genes allowed targeted DNA therapy against the tumour idiotype. Recent work has been directed at identifying antigens retained by malignant plasma cells following therapy, to allow effective vaccination against MM cells on relapse. We have focused on cancer testis antigens (CTAs) in this regard. Vaccines generated against newly identified CTAs in MM are also currently being evaluated using pre-clinical transgenic models.
There is a parallel interest in probing developmental events in the origins and behaviour of other B-cell tumours, in particular Hairy Cell Leukaemia (HCL) and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM). Here, our investigations include analysis of early and late maturation events, as revealed by analysis of somatic mutation imprints in Ig and non-Ig loci, especially the 5’ non-coding region of the BCL-6 gene, a proto-oncogene encoding a transcriptional repressor. In addition, we are evaluating the role of the B-cell receptor and niche interactions in HCL and WM persistence. In these B-cell tumours, notable observations have been established by PhD rotation project students and undergraduate medical students.
Individuals interested in joining any aspect of this research work are encouraged to contact the group informally. The group usually has one or two places for medical students undertaking a study in depth by research as part of the BMed / MMed Sci degrees.
Academic unit: Cancer Sciences
Postgraduate student supervision
2004 – present: PhD supervision (Principle / Co-Supervisor)
Faculty of Medicine
Postgraduate Research Programmes (PRS) Committee
PRS Student Progress Committee
Integrated PhD Programme Group
Cancer Sciences Academic Unit
CSD Management Committee
CRUK Centre Governance Board
CRUK Centre Executive Group
Peer-review of journal articles for: Blood, Cancer Research, Leukemia, Haematologica, British Journal of Haematology, Leukemia Research, International Journal of Cancer, Immunology, PLoS One, American Journal of Pathology, FEBS Letters, BioMed Central (BMC Genomics), Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer; FASEB Journal, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, J Pathology, Clinical Lymphoma and Myeloma, Cancer Biology & Therapy, Cancer Biology & Therapy, Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry
Peer-review of grant applications to: MRC, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Fund, Cancer Research UK, Kay Kendall Leukaemia Foundation, Breast Cancer Campaign, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Cancer Research Ireland, Association for International Cancer Research, Stichting tegen Kanker (Belgian Foundation Against Cancer), Fonds Wetenschappelijk (FWO) Research Foundation, Belgium, United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Israel, Israel Science Foundation, International Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia Foundation (USA), International Myeloma Foundation (USA), Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (USA).
Advisory Board: 11th International Workshop on Multiple Myeloma and 4th International Workshop on Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (2007)
Other Professional Activities:
Member European Myeloma Network (Workpackage Leader)
Member of UK Myeloma Forum
Member of UK Myeloma Forum Scientific Committee
Cancer Sciences Academic Unit Staff Post-graduate Lead
Cancer Sciences Academic Unit Pastoral Advisor (for Postgraduates)
CRUK Centre. Training Lead (non-clinical)
BIOL3037 Immunology. Course Co-ordinator & Lecturer. Organise course curriculum and delivery to Year 3 undergraduates, taught at Highfield Campus
BIOL6038 Immunology. Course Co-ordinator & Tutor (Highfield Campus)
BIOL3043 Molecular and Cellular Pathology. Lecturer on Cancer Vaccines (Highfield Campus)
Course Facilitator BM4 Medicine (Year 1)
BM5 Year 2 Immunology. Lecturer on B-cell immunology
MMedSci. Course Tutor (research evaluation) / Invited Chair (‘Inspire’ programme)
4 Yr Integrated PhD Cancer Pathway. Co-ordinator Research Rotation Projects. Interview Panel (appointments & progress viva voce). Project Supervisor.
4th Year Study-in-depth medical undergraduates. Project Supervisor.
Dr Surinder Sahota
Phone: (023) 8120 8768
Fax: (023) 8120 1385
Room Number: SGH/CSB/MP891