Dr Rosalyn Ferguson

Position: Programme Leader for Biomedical Health

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Biosciences

Subject area: Biological Sciences

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I am the Programme Leader for Biomedical Health.

Teaching responsibilities

I am the Module Leader for the following modules:

  • Concepts of Human Health and Wellbeing (Year 1)
  • Independent Studies in Human Health (Year 2 and 3)

I also teach on the following modules:

Year 1: Genetics; Research Methods in Human Biology

Year 2: The Cell

Year 3: Cell Signalling in Health and Disease; Oncology and Immunology 

I also supervise undergraduate students in their final year Independent Studies projects.   

Research interests

I have a background in Human Biology with special interest in endocrinology. In particular, I am interested in the physiology of nutrition, type 2 diabetes and obesity, and how abnormal cellular signalling as a result of these conditions impacts the development and progression of breast cancer.


BSc Microbiology, University of Edinburgh

MSc Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Queen's University, Belfast

PhD in Cell and Bone Biology, Queen's University, Belfast

PGCE, Queen's University, Belfast

FHEA, University of Derby 

Recent publications

  • Ferguson RD, Gallagher EJ, Scheinman EJ, Damouni R, LeRoith D. The epidemiology and molecular mechanisms linking obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Vitam Horm. 2013;93:51-98. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23810003.
  • Alikhani N, Ferguson RD, Novosyadlyy R, Gallagher EJ, Scheinman EJ, Yakar S, LeRoith D. Mammary tumor growth and pulmonary metastasis are enhanced in a hyperlipidemic mouse model. Oncogene. 2013 Feb 21;32(8):961-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22469977
  • Ferguson RD, Gallagher EJ, Cohen D, Tobin-Hess A, Alikhani N, Novosyadlyy R, Haddad N, Yakar S, LeRoith D. Hyperinsulinemia promotes metastasis to the lung in a mouse model of Her2-mediated breast cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2013 May 21;20(3):391-401. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23572162.
  • Ferguson RD, Novosyadlyy R, Fierz Y, Alikhani N, Sun H, Yakar S, Leroith D. Hyperinsulinemia enhances c-Myc-mediated mammary tumor development and advances metastatic progression to the lung in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes. Breast Cancer Res. 2012 Jan 7;14(1):R8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22226054.
  • Gallagher EJ, Fierz Y, Ferguson RD, LeRoith D. The pathway from diabetes and obesity to cancer, on the route to targeted therapy. Endocr Pract. 2010 Sep-Oct;16(5):864-73. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20841312.
  • Rosalyn D. Ferguson and Derek LeRoith. Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and Cancer. In ‘Insulin-like Growth Factors and Cancer: From Basic Biology to Therapeutics’ Edited by Derek LeRoith. Springer Science and Business Media 2011. https://books.google.co.uk/Insulin-like growth factors and Cancer.
  • Rosalyn D. Ferguson, Nyosha Alikhani, Archana Vijayakumar, Yvonne Fierz, Dara Cannata and Shoshana Yakar. IGF-1 cellular action and its relationship to cancer: In Vitro and In Vivo studies. In ‘Insulin-like Growth Factors and Cancer: From Basic Biology to Therapeutics’Edited by Derek LeRoith. Springer Science and Business Media 2011. https://books.google.co.uk/Insulin-like growth factors and Cancer.

Experience in industry

Before starting my PhD, I worked as a medical miocrobiologist in the pharmaceutical industry.

After my postdoctoral research, I worked in industry for three years as a medical writer for Watermeadow Medical (Ashfield Healthcare) in drug development for diabetes and obesity.

International experience

I spent three years working in the United States as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease at the Ichan School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. Here I worked in a lab studying the mechanistic links between type 2 diabetes and the development and progression of breast cancer.

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