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Dr Stephen Thirdborough BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Research Fellow in Systems Biology

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Dr Stephen Thirdborough is a CR UK Senior Fellow within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

His research interests encompass statistical bioinformatics and systems modelling.

Dr Stephen Thirdborough has a PhD in Biology awarded by the University of Leicester in 1998 for studies on the impairment of human dendritic cell function by soluble factors in malignant melanoma. He joined Professor Stevenson’s group in 1998 to explore the feasibility of using patient-specific TCR rearrangements as targets for immunotherapy, and together with Professor Tim Elliot, studied the mechanisms by which DNA vaccines prime T-cell responses. More recently, Stephen has been applying systems-level analysis of high dimensional cancer omics data for biomarker discovery and the study of host-tumour interactions.


BSc, Applied Biology, Nottingham University (1992)
MSc, Immunology, Nottingham University (1995)
PhD, Leicester University (1998)

Appointments held

Senior Research Fellow, University of Southampton, 1998-present

Research interests

Antibodies targeting T-cell inhibitory pathways such as the PD1-PDL1 axis are showing promising results in previously hard to treat cancers. However, not all patients respond and currently there are no reliable means of identifying those individuals most likely to respond. Applying omics data analytics to systems modelling, Dr Thirdborough’s group has shown that EGFR-driven tumor glycolysis is a major factor contributing to the lack of T-cell infiltration in squamous cell carcinoma and to the failure of T cell-based therapies. These findings allow stratification of patients for immunotherapy trials and support the need for a distinct set of immunotherapeutic inventions dictated by the metabolic status of the tumour. Current research is focussed on gaining new understanding of the link between cancer metabolism and immunoevasion.


Cancer Sciences

Affiliate Department(s)

Cancer Sciences Research group

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Dr Stephen Thirdborough
Tel: 023 8120 5156 Fax: 023 8120 5152 Email:

Room Number: SGH/CCI/3003/MP127

Telephone:(023) 8120 5850
Facsimile:(023) 8120 5152

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