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Staff Profile

Dr Adam Odell

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences


With over 15 years of research and teaching experience in the fields of cancer biology and cardiovascular disease, my primary focus is on understanding the signalling processes regulating endothelial cell function and its contribution to vascular regulation and new blood vessel growth. 

I completed a PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 2006, identifying novel mechanisms regulating activation of the non-selective cation channel, TRPC4. This included identifying new cytoskeletal-binding motifs and a tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent exocytic translocation event. I then undertook a short Postdoctoral position performing functional screening of CML patient-derived cDNA libraries for novel mediators of therapeutic resistance.

After moving to Leeds in 2007, in a Welcome Trust-funded role, I focused on clarifying the role of phospholipase A2 enzymes in controlling endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenic function. This was followed in 2010 by a YCR-funded Postdoctoral position looking at introducing second-site suppressor mutations into oncogenic p53 mutants to restore wild-type function and reduce cellular growth. I then spent a year within the Tumour Angiogenesis Group at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Melbourne, Australia) characterising novel regulators of lymphatic endothelial cell migration. After returning to Leeds in 2015, I joined the Molecular and Cellular Immunology Group to establish a new research area investigating how the endothelium can be modified to influence leukocyte and tumour cell trans-endothelial migration. I am seeking to continue research into the role of p53 in controlling endothelial cell function and its relationship to cardiovascular disease and tumour growth.



I am currently Module Leader of the following courses:

  • Biological Molecules & Reactions
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biology of Disease.  

I teach on the following Year-one modules:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • Biochemistry & Metabolism
  • Professional Skills for Biomedical Sciences. 

In Year Two, I teach on the Cell and Molecular Biology module and Research Methods and Professional Practice. In Year three I teach on the Pharmacology and Toxicology module. I will also be supervising Research Projects in Year three. 

There are provisional plans for developing taught Master’s by Coursework higher degree programs, which I will be intimately involved with over the coming years. Most recently, I have been a tutor for the Introduction to Medical Science (IMS) and Research Evaluation Special Studies one (RESS1) courses for Undergraduate Medical students and a guest Lecturer for third year elective Biochemistry modules (MCB Advanced Topics) at the University of Leeds.

Previously, I have also been a member of the Research Higher Degree’s panel at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and have supervised numerous laboratory research projects for undergraduate, MSc and PhD students.




Key Words: Endothelial Cell Biology, Tumour Immunology, Metastasis, Signal Transduction, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Atherosclerosis, Growth Factor Signalling, Endothelium, Angiogenesis, Tumour Suppressor, p53, Receptor Tyrosine Kinase, RTK, Lymphatics, Cell Migration

Activities: I am currently investigating how transmembrane proteins on the surface of endothelial cells regulate the adhesion and transmigration of leukocytes and tumour cells. Of particular interest are the signalling pathways linking endothelial cell engagement to proliferative and migratory outcomes. This involves understanding the role of the tumour suppressor p53 in regulating normal endothelial function. We are developing novel ways to exploit these pathways for therapeutic benefit in cardiovascular disease and cancer. Recent work has examined the benefit of using radiotherapy to re-sensitise prostate cancer to facilitate eradication by the immune system. I continue to collaborate on research projects examining VEGFR2 signalling in endothelial cells, identifying novel regulators of lymphatic endothelial cell migration and identity, and discovering new mechanisms to re-activate p53 and restore wild-type function to mutant p53.




Williams, S.P., ODELL, A.F.*, Karnezis, T., Farnsworth, R.H., Gould, C.M., Li, J., Paquet-Fifield, S., Harris, N.C., Walter, A., Gregory, J.L., Lamont, S.F., Takano, E.A., Nowell, C.J., Bower, N.I., Resnick, D., Smyth, G.K., Coultas, L., Hogan, B.M., Fox, S.B., Mueller, S.N., Simpson, K.J., Achen, M.G., Stacker, S.A. (2017). Genome-wide functional analysis reveals central regulators of lymphatic endothelial cell migration and remodelling. Sci. Signal. 10(499); eaal2987.

Nordeman, P., Chow, S.Y., ODELL, A.F., Antoni, G., Odell, L.R. (2017) Palladium-mediated 11C-carbonylations using aryl halides and cyanamide. Org Biomol Chem. 15(22):4875-4881

Fearnley, G.W., ODELL, A.F., Latham, A.M., Mughal, N.A., Bruns, A.F., Burgoyne, N.J., Homer-Vanniasinkam, S., Zachary, I.C., Hollstein, M.C., Wheatcroft, S.B., Ponnambalam, S. (2014). VEGF-A isoforms differentially regulate ATF-2-dependent VCAM-1 gene expression and endothelial-leukocyte interactions. Mol. Biol. Cell; 25(16):2509-21.

Jopling, H.M., ODELL, A.F., Pellet-Many, C., Latham, A.M., Frankel, P., Sivaprasadarao, A, Walker, J.H., Zachary, I.C., Ponnambalam, S. (2014). Endosome-to-Plasma Membrane Recycling of VEGFR2 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Regulates Endothelial Function and Blood Vessel Formation. Cells. 3(2):363-85.

Fearnley, G.W., Smith, G.A., ODELL, A.F., Latham, A.M., Wheatcroft, S.B., Harrison, M.A., Tomlinson, D.C., Ponnambalam, S. (2014). Vascular endothelial growth factor A-stimulated signaling from endosomes in primary endothelial cells. Methods Enzymol; 265-92.

ODELL, A.F., Odell, L.R., Askham, J.M., Alogheli, H., Ponnambalam, S., Hollstein, M. (2013) A novel p53 mutant found in iatrogenic urothelial cancers is dysfunctional and can be rescued by a second-site global suppressor mutation. J. Biol. Chem. 288(23):16704-14.

Mashkani B, ODELL A.F., Byrnes E.M., Griffith R, Ashman L.K. (2012) Expression of biologically active human colony stimulating factor-1 in Pichia pastoris. Protein Expr Purif. 88(1):93-97.

Bao L, ODELL A.F., Stephen S.L., Wheatcroft S.B., Walker J.H., Ponnambalam S. (2012) The S100A6 calcium-binding protein regulates endothelial cell cycle progression and senescence. FEBS J. 279(24):4576-88

Latham A.M., ODELL A.F., Mughal N.A., Issitt T., Ulyatt C., Walker J.H., Homer-Vanniasinkam S., Ponnambalam S. (2012) A biphasic endothelial stress-survival mechanism regulates the cellular response to vascular endothelial growth factor A. Exp Cell Res. 318(18):2297-311.

Wei QX, van der Hoeven F, Hollstein M., ODELL A.F. (2012) Efficient introduction of specific p53 mutations into murine embryonic fibroblasts and embryonic stem cells. Nat. Protoc. 7(6):1145-60.

ODELL A.F., Hollstein M, Ponnambalam S, Walker J.H. (2012) A VE-cadherin-PAR3-α-catenin complex regulates the Golgi localization and activity of cytosolic phospholipase A2α in endothelial cells. Mol Biol Cell. 23(9):1783-96.

Wei QX, ODELL A.F., van der Hoeven F, Hollstein M. (2011) Rapid derivation of genetically related mutants from embryonic cells harboring a recombinase-specific Trp53 platform. Cell Cycle. 10(8):1261-70.

ODELL A., Askham J., Whibley C., Hollstein M. (2010) How to become immortal: let MEFs count the ways. Aging (Albany NY). 2(3):160-5.

Whibley C., ODELL A.F., Balaburski G., Murphy M., Liu Z., Stevens L., Walker J.H., Routledge M., Hollstein M. (2010) Wild-type and human p53 knock-in (HUPKI) murine embryonic fibroblasts: p53/Arf pathway disruption and spontaneous escape from senescence. J. Biol. Chem. 285(15):11326-35

Bruns A.F., Herbert S.P., ODELL A.F.*, Jopling H.M., Hooper N.M., Zachary I.C., Walker J.H., Ponnambalam S (2010) Ligand-stimulated VEGFR2 signaling is regulated by co-ordinated trafficking and proteolysis. Traffic. 11(1):161-74. 

Jopling H.M., ODELL A.F., Hooper N.M., Zachary I.C., Walker J.H., Ponnambalam S. (2009) Rab GTPase regulation of VEGFR2 trafficking and signaling in endothelial cells. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 29(7):1119-24. 

Herbert S.P., ODELL A.F.*, Ponnambalam S., Walker J.H. (2009) Activation of cytosolic phospholipase A2a as a novel mechanism regulating endothelial cell cycle progression and angiogenesis. J Biol Chem. 284(9):5784-96. 

ODELL A.F., Van Helden D.F., Scott J.L. (2008) The spectrin cytoskeleton influences the surface expression and activation of human transient receptor potential channel 4 channels. J Biol Chem. 283(7):4395-407.

Herbert S.P., ODELL A.F., Ponnambalam S, Walker J.H. (2007) The confluence-dependent interaction of cytosolic phospholipase A2a with annexin A1 regulates endothelial cell prostaglandin E2 generation. J Biol Chem. 282(47):34468-78. 

Young S.M., Cambareri A.C., ODELL A., Geary S.M., Ashman L.K. (2007) Early myeloid cells expressing c-KIT isoforms differ in signal transduction, survival and chemotactic responses to Stem Cell Factor. Cell Signal. 19(12):2572-81. 

Roberts K.G., ODELL A.F.*, Byrnes E.M., Baleato R.M., Griffith R., Lyons A.B., Ashman L.K. (2007) Resistance to c-KIT kinase inhibitors conferred by V654A mutation. Mol Cancer Ther.;6(3):1159-66

ODELL A.F., Scott J.L., Van Helden D.F. (2005) Epidermal growth factor induces tyrosine phosphorylation, membrane insertion and activation of transient receptor potential channel 4. J. Biol. Chem. 280(45): 37974-87.   

Bobrovskaya L., ODELL A., Leal R.B., Dunkley P.R. (2001) Tyrosine hydroxylase phosphorylation in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells: the role of MAPKs after angiotensin II stimulation. J. Neurochem. 78: 490-498.

* - denotes equal first authorship


Professional activities


I am an International external grant reviewer for the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia. I act as an expert reviewer for various international journals. These include:

  • Cells
  • Microvascular Research
  • Ageing
  • Current Ageing Science
  • Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
  • Cell Biology International
  • PlosOne.

I have been an invited speaker at several national and international conferences including the Italian Society of Biochemistry, the Inaugural p53 Isoforms in Disease symposium and the British Society of Immunology - Leukocyte Migration meeting.