Dr Stephen Robinson

Group Leader

Contact via email

Microbiota and vascular health

I started my career studying mammary gland biology under the supervision of Professor Charles Daniel at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I gained a firm grounding in understanding how to use and manipulate the mouse mammary gland as a model system for investigating developmental biology and cancer. My thesis focused on understanding how TGF-beta isoforms regulate breast development and functional differentiation.

I then conducted my postdoctoral work at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology with Professor Richard Hynes. Here I developed Selectin double- and triple-knockout mice, and showed P-selectin plays a dominant role in leukocyte trafficking. The mouse models I generated during this time continue to be a powerful tool for studying the role of leukocyte rolling in a number of research fields (e.g. immunology and cardiovascular biology).

In 2000 I moved from to the United Kingdom to work with Professor Kairbaan Hodivala-Dilke at Barts Cancer Institute. We published groundbreaking studies on the roles played by integrins during angiogenesis; findings that have changed the research community’s perception of how integrins function in vivo to regulate both normal and pathological angiogenesis.

In 2011 I became an independent group leader at the University of East Anglia (UEA). My group has elucidated the endothelial specific function of αvβ3-integrin in angiogenesis, showing the molecule’s role in the process is context specific, particularly with respect to its regulation over angiogenic signaling pathways.

In 2018, I became a Group Leader at the Quadram Institute. A major aim of my group is focussed on understanding how the gut microbiome regulates both vascular development and homeostasis with, of course, a key interest on all things related to cell adhesion and angiogenesis.

I pride myself on my supportive mentoring of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.  In 2018 I was awarded UEA’s PhD supervisor of the year.

Key Publications

Atkinson, SJ, Gontarczyk, AM, Ellison, TS, Johnson, RT, Kirkup, BM, Alghamdi, A, Fowler, WJ, Silva, BC, Schneider, JG, Weilbaecher, KN, Mogensen, MM, Bass, MD, Edwards, DR and Robinson, SD. (2018). The β3-integrin endothelial adhesome regulates microtubule dependent cell migration. EMBO Reports, 19, e44578. https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.201744578

Su, X, Esser, AK, Amend SR, Xiang, J, Xu, Y, Ross, MH, Fox, GC, Kobayashi, T, Steri, V, Roomp, K, Fontana, R, Hurchla, MA, Knolhoff, BL, Meyer, MA, Morgan, EA, Tomasson, JC, Novack, JS, Zou, W, Faccio, R, Novack, DV, Robinson, SD, Teitelbaum, SL, Dernardo, DG, Schneider, JG, and Weilbaecher, KN (2016) Antagonizing integrin β3 increases immunosuppression in cancer. Cancer Research, 76:3484. https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-2663

Ellison, TS, Atkinson, SJ, Steri, V, Kirkup, BM, Preedy, MEJ, Johnson, RT, Ruhrberg, C, Edwards, DR, Schneider, JG, Weilbaecher, K, and Robinson, SD (2015) Suppressing β3-integrin triggers a neuropilin-1 dependent focal adhesion turnover pathway that can be targeted to block pathological angiogenesis. Disease Models and Mechanisms, 8:1105. https://doi.org/10.1242/dmm.019927

Steri, V., Ellison, T.S., Gontarczyk, A.M., Weilbaecher, K.N., Schneider, J.G., Edwards, D.R., Fruttiger, M., Hodivala-Dilke, K.M., and Robinson, S.D. (2014). Acute Depletion of endothelial β3-integrin transiently inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis in mice. Circulation Research, 114:79. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.301591

Robinson, S.D., Reynolds, L.E., Kostourou, V., Reynolds, A.R., Graça da Silva, R., Tavora, B., Baker, M., Marshall, J.F. and Hodivala-Dilke, K.M. (2009). αvβ3-integrin limits the contribution of Neuropilin-1 to VEGF-induced angiogenesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284:33966. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M109.030700

Teng N,Price C,Mckee A,Hall L,Robinson STEPHEN. (2021)

Exploring the impact of gut microbiota and diet on breast cancer risk and progression

International journal of cancer

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Mckee A, Kirkup B, Madgwick M, Fowler W, Price C, Dreger S, Ansorge R, Makin K, Caim S, Le Gall G, Pavely J, Leclaire C, Dalby M, Alcon-Giner C, Andrusaite A, Feng TY, Di Modica M, Triulzi T, Tagliabue E, Milling S, Weilbaecher K, Rutkowski M, Korcsmaros T, Hall L, Robinson S. (2021)

Antibiotic-induced disturbances of the gut microbiota result in accelerated breast tumour growth


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Benwell C. B., Alghamdi A. A., Atkinson S. A., Lambert J. L., Johnson R. J., Robinson S. R.. (2020)

NRP2 as an emerging angiogenic player: promoting endothelial cell adhesion and migration by regulating recycling of alpha-5 integrin

Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology

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Lambert J., Makin K., Akbareian S., Johnson R., Alghamdi A., Robinson S. D., Edwards D. R.. (2020)

ADAMTS-1 and syndecan-4 intersect in the regulation of cell migration and angiogenesis

Journal of Cell Science

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Wong PP,Muñoz-Félix JM,Hijazi M,Kim H,Robinson SD,De Luxán-Delg,Rodríguez-Hernández I,Maiques O,Meng YM,Meng Q,Bodrug N,Dukinfield MS,Reynolds LE,Elia G,Clear A,Harwood C,Wang Y,Campbell JJ,Singh R,Zhang P,Schall TJ,Matchett KP,Henderson NC,Szlosarek PW,Dreger SA,Smith S,Jones JL,Gribben JG,Cutillas PR,Meie P,Sanz-Moreno V,Hodivala-Dilke KM. (2020)

Cancer Burden Is Controlled by Mural Cell-ß3-Integrin Regulated Crosstalk with Tumor Cells

Cell, 181, 1346-1363.e21

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McKee A., Hall L. J., Robinson S.. (2019)

The microbiota, antibiotics and breast cancer

Breast Cancer Management

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