Personal profile

Research interests

Prof. Nick Leslie is a biochemist and cancer biologist who, while he was at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research and the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, studied how the growth and proliferation of healthy cells and cancer cells are controlled. He and his laboratory were the first to show activation of cellular growth signalling by reversible oxidation of the tumour suppressor PTEN. He was also the first to clone and characterise the closest other relative to PTEN in humans, the voltage regulated phosphatase TPIP.

After moving to Heriot Watt University in 2013 he has continued this research and also initiated extensive collaborations with Bioengineers to apply novel technologies to cancer research. The most significant of these collaborations are with Prof. Maiwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas to develop microfluidic methods to study tumour DNA in cancer patient’s blood samples and with Prof. Ferry Melchels to generate novel 3D bioprinted models of brain tumours and pancreatic cancer.

References: Tibarewal et al, 2012, Science Signaling, 5, ra18; Spinelli et al, 2015, J. Med Genet, 52, p128; Tabriz et al, 2015, Biofabrication, 7, 045012; McCormack et al, 2020, Trends in Biotechnology, 38, p584; Keraite et al, 2021, Scientific Reports, 10: 17082; 


Nick completed his first degree in Genetics at Cambridge University and a PhD at Glasgow University with David Sherratt, FRS. After PostDoctoral research at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, he moved to Dundee to work with Peter Downes and Philip Cohen at the inception of their pharmaceutical collaboration, the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy. It was in Dundee that Nick began studying the PI 3-kinase signalling pathway and PTEN. Nick was appointed as an Independent Investigator there in 2002 and moved his lab to Heriot Watt University in  2013. He was promoted to Professor in 2017 and became Director of Research for the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences in 2019

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


Dive into the research topics where Nicholas R. Leslie is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or