Miss Natalia Haddad

Research project: Developing novel therapeutic agents against serotonin receptor signalling in colorectal cancer


The Hippo Signaling Pathway is an evolutionary conserved pathway with a key role as a regulatory pathway in organ growth control and maintenance. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a classical neurotransmitter in the central nervous system which is also known as a local mediator in the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin as also been recently implicated as a potent growth factor for several human cancers. Serotonin is thought to encourage cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, and formation of tumour blood supply initiation (angiogenesis). As potentiation of serotonin signalling results

in enhanced intestinal epithelial proliferation and as YAP/TAZ are key proteins in encouraging cancer proliferation and inhibition of apoptosis as well, then it is an obvious pathway to investigate and weather 5HT2b receptor regulation crosstalk's with YAP/TAZ and the Hippo signalling pathway. The aims of this project are to elucidate the link between cancer receptor signalling primarily mediated by 5-HT2b by using therapeutic targets which may act as antagonists of these receptors. The second aim of this project is to analyse if 5-HT2b and any effect on signalling may be mediated by the Hippo Signalling Pathway and whether there is a crosstalk between classical cancer signalling pathways including MAPK and PI3k/AKT signalling.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Developing novel therapeutic agents against serotonin receptor signalling in colorectal cancer
  • Research supervisor: Dr Ahmed Elbediwy
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Darren Johnson


A highly engaging and confident individual fascinated with complexity of the holistic human and the phenomena occurring at molecular levels.I have a keen interest in exploring the heterogeneous nature of cancer and specifically in the induction and progression tumour metastasis and their molecular biology. -

I also possessed a keen interest in the business, management, and entrepreneur section in Life sciences.Therefore, I have enrolled as a Masters students in Kingston University London as Biomedical science with Management to understand the analysis risk, market gaps, efficiency, cost of treating and management in healthcare sectors

I then developed a keen interests to pursue my research skills after investigating Anandamides a a potential therapeutic in ovarian cancer with Dr.Darren Johnson. Thus, I will be  investigating drug repurposing of Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)  as a potential therapeutic in malignant epithelial cancers such as ; Colorectal and Ovarian cancer with respectiveDr.Ahmad Elbediwy and Dr.Nadine Wehedi.

Areas of research interest

  • Cancer biology
  • Drug repurposing
  • Signalling pathways


  • BSc Biomedical science (Hons), Kingston University London
  • Msc Biomedical science with Management, Kingston University London

Funding or awards received

  • Society of Endocrinology-Undergraduate Achievement Award
  • Best poster presentation award-2nd place