- Antibody Therapy
- Metastic Breast Cancer
- Obesity and Breast Cancer
- Tumour immune-microenvironment
Dr Charles Birts’ current research is funded by Against Breast Cancer and is focused on improving our understanding of the underlying biological and immunological mechanisms driving the association between diet, lifestyle, and breast cancer metastasis. The aim of his work is to investigate immune cell function within the tumour microenvironment and determine how we can use antibody-glycan biology and metabolic intervention to fine tune antibody effector functions. This understanding will better inform our approach to developing novel immunotherapies and maximise their therapeutic efficacy. We are also working to identify glycan biomarkers that will offer novel targets for therapy. In parallel, we are developing novel antibody derivatives through the exploitation of antibody engineering.
Dr Charles Birts is the module coordinator for BIOL3052/6041 Biomedical Technology.
He lectures on BIOL1024 Fundamentals of Biochemistry, BIOL1025 Fundamentals of Cell Biology and Physiology, BIOL1030 How to think like a scientist, BIOL2022 Immunology Infection and Inflammation, BIOL2049 Pharmacology, BIOL3052/6041 Biomedical Technology, BIOL3013 Molecular recognition.
External roles and responsibilities
Dr Charles Birts is a Lecturer in Antibody Therapeutics and principal investigator in breast cancer research at the University of Southampton. He obtained his First-Class Honours degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology in 2003 at the University of Southampton. He completed his PhD in the lab of David Wilton on the role of phospholipases in inflammation. In 2007 he Joined the lab of Dr Jeremy Blaydes at Southampton General Hospital in the Faculty of Medicine to undertake a postdoctoral position investigating the molecular mechanisms that control changes in cellular metabolism in breast cancer cells, specifically on a family of proteins called CtBPs. He was awarded the Faculty of Medicine Postdoctoral Career Track Award in 2014, awarded through a competitive process, to develop his independent research investigating the metabolic crosstalk between the microenvironment and cancer cells. This was followed by an ESPEN Research Fellowship in 2016 to investigate the interplay between cancer metabolism and the immune system. He joined the School of Biological Sciences as an Against Breast Cancer funded lecturer in 2018. His research is focused on investigating the effect of metabolic and immunologic targeting on breast cancer development. This work involves developing novel antibody-based therapies for targeting secondary breast cancers.