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Dr Carol Midgley

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Life, Health & Chemical Sciences
  • carol.midgley

Professional biography

After obtaining a BSc in biochemistry (University of Liverpool) and a PhD in molecular biology (University of Edinburgh) I held research posts in both academia and industry, including: 

Post-doctoral research on mechanims of yeast trascription at the University of Oxford.

Developing novel methods of antibody expression and production at Amersham International/GEC (as part of a project that eventually lead to the founding of Cambridge Antibody Technology).

Post-doctoral research on the p53, MDM2 and APC tumour suppressors in the laboratory of Prof. David Lane at the University of Dundee.

Research manager at Polgen/Cyclacel, a biotechnology company associated with the laboratories of Prof. Lane and Prof. David Glover at Cambridge University, where I developed cell-based assays for anti-cancer drug development.

In 2005 I became a lecturer at the Open University and now hold a post as Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences in the School of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences.

Research interests

My main interest is in the process of cell division, particularly mitosis the process by which cells segregate their duplicated chromosomes to form two separate daughter cells. This area of research is of increasing interest in the development of therapies for anti-proliferative diseases such as cancer. For example the anti-cancer drug taxol inhibits the formation of the mitotic spindle microtubule network which is required to correctly separate the duplicated chromosomes (see figure above). Cells treated with taxol arrest in mitosis and eventually die, so rapidly proliferating cancer cells are sensitive to taxol treatment compared to most body tissues. However taxol also affects the structural microtubules which are crucial to nerve cell function, resulting in side-effects which must be carefully managed in patients. Anti-mitotic drugs which target proteins exclusively involved in cell division and not required for other processes would therefore be of major benefit.

Recent publications:

Lu T, Goh AW, Yu M, Adams J, Lam F, Teo T, Li P, Noll B, Zhong L, Diab S, Chahrour O, Hu A, Abbas AY, Liu X, Huang S, Sumby CJ, Milne R, Midgley C, Wang S. Discovery of (E)-3-((styrylsulfonyl)methyl)pyridine and (E)-2-((styrylsulfonyl)methyl)pyridine derivatives as anticancer agents: synthesis, structure-activity relationships, and biological activities. (2014) J Med Chem. 2014 Mar 27;57(6):2275-91. 

Chahrour O, Abdalla A, Lam F, Midgley C, Wang S. Synthesis and biological evaluation of benzyl styrylsulfonyl derivatives as potent anticancer mitotic inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2011 May 15;21(10):3066-9.

Higgins J, Midgley C, Bergh AM, Bell SM, Askham JM, Roberts E, Binns RK, Sharif SM, Bennett C, Glover DM, Woods CG, Morrison EE, Bond J. Human ASPM participates in spindle organisation, spindle orientation and cytokinesis. BMC Cell Biol. 2010 Nov 2;11:85. 

Wang S, Griffiths G, Midgley CA, Barnett AL, Cooper M, Grabarek J, Ingram L, Jackson W, Kontopidis G, McClue SJ, McInnes C, McLachlan J, Meades C, Mezna M, Stuart I, Thomas MP, Zheleva DI, Lane DP, Jackson RC, Glover DM, Blake DG, Fischer PM. Discovery and characterization of 2-anilino-4- (thiazol-5-yl) pyrimidine transcriptional CDK inhibitors as anticancer agents. Chem Biol. 2010 Oct 29;17(10):1111-21.

Wang S, Midgley CA, Scaërou F, Grabarek JB, Griffiths G, Jackson W, Kontopidis G, McClue SJ, McInnes C, Meades C, Mezna M, Plater A, Stuart I, Thomas MP, Wood G, Clarke RG, Blake DG, Zheleva DI, Lane DP, Jackson RC, Glover DM, Fischer PM. Discovery of N-phenyl-4-(thiazol-5-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine aurora kinase inhibitors. J Med Chem. 2010 Jun 10;53(11):4367-78.

Wang S, Midgley CA, Scaërou F, Grabarek JB, Griffiths G, Jackson W, Kontopidis G, McClue SJ, McInnes C, Meades C, Mezna M, Plater A, Stuart I, Thomas MP, Wood G, Clarke RG, Blake DG, Zheleva DI, Lane DP, Jackson RC, Glover DM, Fischer PM. Discovery of N-phenyl-4-(thiazol-5-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine aurora kinase inhibitors. J Med Chem. 2010 Jun 10;53(11):4367-78.

McInnes C, Mazumdar A, Mezna M, Meades C, Midgley C, Scaerou F, Carpenter L, Mackenzie M, Taylor P, Walkinshaw M, Fischer PM, Glover D.  Inhibitors of Polo-like kinase reveal roles in spindle-pole maintenance. Nat Chem Biol. 2006 Nov;2(11):608-17.

Wang S, Wood G, Meades C, Griffiths G, Midgley C, McNae I, McInnes C, Anderson S, Jackson W, Mezna M, Yuill R, Walkinshaw M, Fischer PM. Synthesis and biological activity of 2-anilino-4-(1H-pyrrol-3-yl) pyrimidine Cdk inhibitors. (2004) Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 14;4237-4240.

Wang S, Meades C, Wood G, Osnowski A, Anderson S, Yuill R, Thomas M, Mezna M, Jackson W, Midgley C, Griffiths G, Fleming I, Green S, McNae I, Wu SY, McInnes C, Zheleva D, Walkinshaw MD, Fischer PM. 2-Anilino-4-(thiazol-5-yl)pyrimidine CDK inhibitors: synthesis, SAR analysis, X-ray crystallography, and biological activity. J Med Chem. 2004 Mar 25;47(7):1662-75.

And 33 other refereed papers between 1985 and 2001

Teaching interests

Most recently I chaired production of the new online 60-credt Level 1 module SDK100 Science and health: an evidence-based approach, and I contine to be module presentation chair.

I am also Health Sciences Qualification Director with responsibility for the BSc Health Sciences (Q71).

I have also had production or presentation roles on several other modules including: S294 Cell Biology, SDK125 Introducing health sciences, SXR376 Molecular basis of human disease, SXR270 Investigative biology, SXRS377 Molecular and cell biology, S104 Exploring science.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Biomedical Research Network (BRN)NetworkFaculty of Science

Publications

Discovery of (E)-3-((styrylsulfonyl)methyl)pyridine and (E)-2-((styrylsulfonyl)methyl)pyridine derivatives as anticancer agents: synthesis, structure-activity relationships, and biological activities. (2014-03-27)
Lu, Tiangong; Goh , Aik Wye; Yu, Mingfeng; Adams, Julian; Lam, Frankie; Teo, Theodosia; Li, Peng; Noll, Ben; Zhong, Longjin; Diab, Sarah; Chahrour, Osama; Hu, Anran; Abbas, Abdullahi Y,; Liu, Xiangrui; Huang, Shiliang; Sumby, Christopher J.; Milne, Robert; Midgley, Carol and Wang, Shudong
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 57(6) (pp. 2275-2291)
Synthesis and biological evaluation of benzyl styrylsulfonyl derivatives as potent anticancer mitotic inhibitors (2011-03-17)
Chahrour, Osama; Abdalla, Ashraf; Lam, Frankie; Midgley, Carol and Wang, Shudong
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 21(10) (pp. 3066-3069)
Human ASPM participates in spindle organisation, spindle orientation and cytokinesis (2010-11-02)
Higgins, Julie; Midgley, Carol A.; Bergh, Anna-Maria; Bell, Sandra M.; Askham, Jonathan M.; Roberts, Emma; Binns, Ruth K.; Sharif, Saghira M.; Bennett, Christopher; Glover, David M.; Woods, C. Geoffrey; MorrisonBond, Ewan E. and Bond, Jacquelyn
BMC Cell Biology, 11 (p 85)
Discovery and characterization of 2-Anilino-4-(Thiazol-5-yl)Pyrimidine transcriptional CDK inhibitors as anticancer agents (2010-10-29)
Wang, Shudong; Griffiths, Gary; Midgley, Carol A.; Barnett, Anna L.; Cooper, Michael; Grabarek, Joanna; Ingram, Laura; Jackson, Wayne; Kontopidis, George; McClue, Steven J.; McInnes, Campbell; McLachan, Janice; Meades, Christopher; Mezna, Mokdad; Stuart, Iain; Thomas, Mark P.; Zheleva, Daniella I.; Lane, David P.; Jackson, Robert C.; Glover, David M.; Blake, David G. and Fischer, Peter M.
Chemistry and Biology, 17(10) (pp. 1111-1121)
Discovery of N-Phenyl-4-(thiazol-5-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine Aurora Kinase Inhibitors (2010-06-10)
Wang, Shudong; Midgley, Carol A.; Scaërou, Frederic; Grabarek, Joanna B.; Griffiths, Gary; Jackson, Wayne; Kontopidis, George; McClue, Steven J.; McInnes, Campbell; Meades, Christopher; Mezna, Mokdad; Plater, Andy; Stuart, Iain; Thomas, Mark P.; Wood, Gavin; Clarke, Rosemary G.; Blake, David G.; Zheleva, Daniella I.; Lane, David P.; Jackson, Robert C.; Glover, David M. and Fischer, Peter M.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 53(11) (pp. 4367-4378)
Inhibitors of Polo-like kinase reveal roles in spindle-pole maintenance (2006-11-02)
McInnes, Campbell; Mazumdar, Aveek; Mezna, Mokdad; Meades, Christopher; Midgley, Carol; Scaerou, Fred; Carpenter, Lee; Mackenzie, Mairi; Taylor, Paul; Walkinshaw, Malcolm; Fischer, Peter M. and Glover, David
Nature Chemical Biology, 2(11) (pp. 608-617)
Synthesis and biological activity of 2-anilino-4-(1H-pyrrol-3-yl) pyrimidine CDK inhibitors (2004-08-16)
Wang, Shudong; Wood, Gavin; Meades, Christopher; Griffiths, Gary; Midgley, Carol; McNae, Ian; McInnes, Campbell; Anderson, Sian; Jackson, Wayne; Mezna, Mokdad; Yuill, Rhoda; Walkinshaw, Malcolm and Fischer, Peter M.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 14(16) (pp. 4237-4240)
2-Anilino-4-(thiazol-5-yl)pyrimidine CDK Inhibitors: Synthesis, SAR Analysis, X-ray Crystallography, and Biological Activity (2004-03-25)
Wang, Shudong; Meades, Christopher; Wood, Gavin; Osnowski, Andrew; Anderson, Sian; Yuill, Rhoda; Thomas, Mark; Mezna, Mokdad; Jackson, Wayne; Midgley, Carol; Griffiths, Gary; Fleming, Ian; Green, Simon; McNae, Ian; Wu, Su-Ying; McInnes, Campbell; Zheleva, Daniella; Walkinshaw, Malcolm D. and Fischer, Peter M.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 47(7) (pp. 1662-1675)
Biological significance of a small highly conserved region in the N terminus of the p53 tumour suppressor protein (2001-11-02)
Liu, Wei-Li; Midgley, Carol; Stephen, Charles; Saville, Mark and Lane, David P.
Journal of Molecular Biology, 313(4) (pp. 711-731)
Cell cycle progression proteins (2005-10-13)
DEAK, PETER; FRENZ, LISA; GLOVER, DAVID and Midgley, Carol

Cell cycle progression proteins (2004-07-29)
GLOVER, DAVID; BELL, GRAHAM; FRENZ, LISA and Midgley, Carol

Cell Cycle Progression proteins (2003-08-14)
Deak, Peter; Glover, David and Midgley, Carol

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