Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology - Caroline Dive

After completing her PhD studies in Cambridge, Caroline moved to Aston University's School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Birmingham where she started her own group studying mechanisms of drug induced tumour cell death. She then moved to what became the Faculty of Life Sciences at The University of Manchester to continue this research. Caroline was awarded a Lister Institute of Preventative Medicine Research Fellowship before moving to the CRUK Manchester Institute in 2003. Here she set up the Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology Group interfacing with the Derek Crowther Unit for early clinical trials at The Christie. Caroline is currently a Senior Group Leader at the CRUK Manchester Institute and Professor of Pharmacology at The University of Manchester.

Throughout her career, Caroline has attracted several prizes and awards, most notably she was awarded the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier International Prize in 2012 and in 2016 the AstraZeneca Prize for Women in Pharmacology. She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2015), Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (2012) and Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (2011). In 2017, Caroline was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to cancer research.


The Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology group (>70 staff) is focused on the delivery of personalised medicine with emphasis on development, validation and qualification of liquid biopsies to assist patient management. Specifically, we develop circulating tumour cell (CTC), circulating nucleic acid and tissue based biomarkers and with our many clinical collaborators, apply them in clinical trials to Good Clinical Practice standards (GCP). We are currently building the Manchester Centre for Cancer Biomarker Sciences (MCCBS) to deliver robust prognostic, predictive and pharmacodynamic biomarkers within innovative clinical trials of mechanism based therapeutics with a typical portfolio capacity of ~50 trials.

Multiple CDX models metastasise in vivo to several target organs and are actively proliferating, as shown by the presence of CD56 positive neuroendocrine cells (red) where a proportion also stain for the mitotic marker pHH3 (green). [Left panel: CDX14, brain; right panel: CDX17P, liver]

Our group (within the CRUK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence between Manchester and UCL) also has a strong interest in lung cancer research, particularly small cell lung cancer (SCLC) the most aggressive type of lung cancer that kills 220,000 patients globally each year. Tumour biopsies are scarce in SCLC so we recently developed landmark patient CTC derived explant models (termed CDX) that mimic the donor patients’ tumour pathology and response to chemotherapy. Our growing panel of SCLC CDX models are enabling our investigations into the biology of SCLC and its mechanisms for dissemination. These models also facilitate testing of new therapies and biomarker development, leading to early clinical trials in patients with urgent medical need.

Selected Publications

Carter L, Rothwell D, Mesquita B, Smowton C, Leong HS, Fernandez-Gutierrez F, Li Y, Burt D, Antonello J, Morrow C, Hodgkinson C, Morris K, Priest L, Carter M, Miller C, Hughes A, Blackhall F, Dive C, Brady G. (2017)
Molecular analysis of circulating tumor cells identifies distinct copy-number profiles in patients with chemosensitive and chemorefractory small-cell lung cancer.
Nature Medicine 23(1):114-119. PubMed abstract

Williamson S, Metcalf R, Trapani F, Mohan S, Antonello J, Abbott B, Leong HS, Chester C , Simms N, Polanski R, Nonaka D, Priest L, Fusi A, Carlsson F, Carlsson A, Hendrix M, Seftor R, Mrs. Elisabeth Seftor, Rothwell D, Hughes A, Hicks J, Miller C, Kuhn P, Brady G, Simpson K, Blackhall F, Dive C. (2016)
Vasculogenic Mimicry in Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Nature Communication 7:13322. PubMed abstract

Crosbie PA, Shah R, Krysiak P, Zhou C, Morris K, Tugwood J, Booton R, Blackhall F, Dive C. (2016)
A brief report: Circulating tumour cells detected in the tumour-draining pulmonary vein are associated with disease recurrence after surgical resection of non-small cell lung cancer.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology 11(10):1793-7. PubMed abstract

Morrow CJ, Trapani F, Metcalf RL, Bertolini G, Hodgkinson CL, Khandelwal G, Kelly P, Galvin M, Carter L, Simpson KL, Williamson S, Wirth C, Simms N, Frankliln L, Frese KK, Rothwell DG, Nonaka D, Miller CJ, Brady G, Blackhall FH, Dive C. (2016)
Tumourigenic non-small-cell lung cancer mesenchymal circulating tumour cells: a clinical case study.
Annals of Oncology 27(6):1155-60. PubMed abstract

Girotti MR, Gremel G, Lee R, Galvani E, Rothwell D, Viros A, Mandal AK, Lim KH, Saturno G, Furney SJ, Baenke F, Pedersen M, Rogan J, Swan J, Smith M, Fusi A, Oudit D, Dhomen N, Brady G, Lorigan P, Dive C, Marais R. (2016)
Application of Sequencing, Liquid Biopsies, and Patient-Derived Xenografts for Personalized Medicine in Melanoma.
Cancer Discovery 6(3):286-99. PubMed abstract

Symonds RP, Gourley C, Davidson S, Carty K, McCartney E, Rai D, Banerjee S, Jackson D, Lord R, McCormack M, Hudson E, Reed N, Flubacher M, Jankowska P, Powell M, Dive C, West CM, Paul J. (2015)
Cediranib combined with carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer (CIRCCa): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncology 16(15):1515-24. PubMed abstract

Valle JW, Wasan H, Lopes A, Backen AC, Palmer DH, Morris K, Duggan M, Cunningham D, Anthoney DA, Corrie P, Madhusudan S, Maraveyas A, Ross PJ, Waters JS, Steward WP, Rees C, Beare S, Dive C, Bridgewater JA. (2015)
Cediranib or placebo in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine chemotherapy for patients with advanced biliary tract cancer (ABC-03): a randomised phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncology 16(8):967-78. PubMed abstract

Hodgkinson CL, Morrow CJ, Li Y, Metcalf RL, Rothwell DG, Trapani F, Polanski R, Burt DJ, Simpson KL, Morris K, Pepper S, Nonaka D, Greystoke A, Kelly P, Bola B, Krebs MG, Antonello J, Ayub M, Faulkner S, Priest L, Carter L, Tate C, Miller CJ, Blackhall F, Brady G & Dive C. (2014)
Tumorigenicity and genetic profiling of circulating tumor cells in small-cell lung cancer.
Nature Medicine 20(8):897-903.  PubMed abstract

Hou JM, Krebs MG, Lancashire L, Sloane R, Swain R, Backen A, Priest L, Greystoke A, Zhou C, Morris K, Ward T, Blackhall F, Dive C. (2012)
Clinical Significance and Molecular Characteristics of Circulating Tumor Cells and Circulating Tumor Microemboli in Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 30:525-32. PubMed abstract

Krebs M, Sloane R, Priest L, Lancashire L, Hou JM, Greystoke A, Ward T, Ferraldeschi R, Hughes A, Clack G, Ranson M, Dive C, Blackhall FH. (2011)
Evaluation and Prognostic Significance of Circulating Tumour Cells in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).
Journal of Clinical Oncology 29:1556-63. PubMed abstract



Deputy Group Leader
Ged Brady

Senior Staff Scientists
Elaine Kilgour
Jonathan Tugwood

Staff Scientists
Dominic Rothwell

Associate Scientists
Kris Frese
Kathryn Simpson

Service Manager
Tony Price

Postdoctoral Fellows
Francesca Chemi
Adam Fletcher
Barbara Mesquita
Sumitra Mohan
Maria Peiris-Pages
Ruth Stoney
Stuart Williamson

Anthony Chiu
Saba Ferdous
Sakshi Gulati
Chang Kim

Clinical Informaticians
Jenny Bradford
Fouziah Butt
Paul Fitzpatrick
Andrew Hughes
Laura Hutchinson
Donal Landers
Leanne Ogden
Paul O’Regan
Jenny Royle
Siobhan Southam
Laura Stephenson
Julie Stevenson
Jason Swift
Jenny Ward

Clinical Fellows
Alicia Conway
Victoria Foy

Graduate Students
Alice Lallo
Jakub Chudziak
Max Schenk
Sarah Pearsall

Scientific Officers
Mahmood Ayub
Kieran Bradbury
Nicholas Brittain
Henry Brown
Stewart Brown
Debbie Burt
Holly Butterworth
Mathew Carter
Alex Clipson
Joanne Felce
Alice Fickling
Rachael Fortune-Grant
Lynsey Franklin
Melanie Galvin
Weronika Golinska
Hannah Gregson
Grace Hampson
Sarah Hilton
Michael Hoffs
Nadia Iqbal
Aileen Jardine
Hana Jelassi
Noel Kelso
Simrah Mohammad
Derrick Morgan
Karen Morris
Cristien Natal
Kamrun Nessa
Anthony Oojageer
Karen Morris
Christina Parkes
Jackie Pierce
Rebekah Pringle
Alan Redfern
Caroline Roberts
Karishma Satia
Nicole Simms
Daniel Slane-Tan
Nigel Smith
Victoria Stevenson
Sarah Taylor
Simon Topham
Amelie Viratham
Daniel White

Laboratory Manager
Matthew Lancashire

Laboratory Support Technician
Andrew Stevens

MRD Project Manager
Jonathan Wake

EA to Caroline Dive
Ekram Aidaros

Administrative Coordinators
Lisa Waters
Fiona Mckenzie-Wilde
Megan Wright