Dr Athina-Myrto (Myrto) Chioni


I have completed my undergraduate degree in Biology from Imperial College London and I have obtained my MSc in Molecular Medicine in 2001 and my PhD in cell and molecular biology from Imperial College London where I was awarded the Imperial College Marshall Scholarship (annual award for research in Biology) and the A.G. Leventis Foundation Studentship. During my doctoral studies I investigated the expression of Voltage-gated sodium channels in human breast cancer cell lines in relation to metastatic potential. Upon completion of my PhD in 2006, I joined Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMUL (Institute of Cancer, Centre for Tumour Biology) in order to conduct postdoctoral research investigating the role of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling in organogenesis, epithelial development, tissue repair and cancer. During my academic career, I have presented my work at a number of key conferences and meetings in the field of cancer research. During this time I had the great honour to receive a number of very prestigious awards, including; the Papanikolau first prize award (Hellenic Medical Society of Great Britain) and the first prize for an oral scientific presentation at Sylvia Lawler meeting (Royal Society of Medicine) in 2011 and 2012. Other awards include the William Harvey day 'Barts and The London' Poster presentation award in 2008 and 2011, junk the jargon competition at QMUL (1st prize winner) in 2011, 1st prize for an oral presentation at Barts and Queen Mary Science Festival in 2012, Poster presentation award at Gordon Conference 'Fibroblast Growth Factors in Development & Disease' in 2012. I have also been awarded twice a three year Breast Cancer campaign project grant as a named researcher in 2009 and 2013. In September 2014 I joined the School of Science as a Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at Kingston University and in 2016 I became a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences and deputy course director BSc BMS.

Academic responsibilities

Senior lecturer in Pathobiology and Cancer Biology


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, Barts Cancer Institute, Department of Tumour Biology (2006-214)
  • PhD Imperial College London (2003-2006)
  • MSc Molecular Medicine, Imperial College London (2001-2002)
  • BSc (Hons) Biology, Imperial College London (1998-2001)
  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2022)
  • Fellow of Institute of Biomedical Sciences (FIBMS) and Fellow of Royal Society of Biology (FRSB)

Teaching and learning

Qualifications and expertise

  • SFHEA (2022)

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


My principal research interests focus on fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling in cancer and drug resistance. The FGF receptor (FGFR) signalling pathway is implicated in a wide range of pathologies, most notably cancer, yet its efficient targeting is proving challenging to the pharmaceutical industry, partly because FGFR signalling is fundamental to so many normal biological processes. My previous research demonstrated that FGFR in breast, pancreatic and cervical cancer play pivotal role. In some cases it can  get cleaved and translocate into the nucleus  acting as a potential transcription factor that can alter metastatic cell behaviour. Previous studies have also demonstrated the presence of full length nuclear FGFR but never the cleaved form. Targeting this novel aspect of FGFR signalling might represent a novel therapeutic approach in blocking cancer invasion.

Current research students:

1. Mrs Nauf Bou Antoun (PhD);  30/Oct/2017.

Supervisory team: Dr Athina Myrto Chioni; Prof Tony Walker and Dr Elena Polycarpou

"Profiling wild type and FGFR inhibitor drug resistant cervical cancer cell lines"

2. Mrs Sai Prasanna Suddapalli (PhD);  14/Sep/2020.

Supervisory team: Dr Stephen Wren; Dr Athina-Myrto Chioni and Dr Ian Beadham

"Photochemical synthesis of novel heterocycles as anti-cancer agents"

3. Miss Adejoke Omolara Sunday (PhD);  06/Jan/2020 

Supervisory team: Dr Michael Stolinski; Dr Athina-Myrto Chioni and Dr Elizabeth Opara

"In vitro, in vivo and ex vivo investigations of the anti-inflammatory properties of culinary herbs and spices when combined with non-herb foods"

4. Mr James J Scanlon (MRes); March 2021 

supervisory team: Dr Stephen Wren; Dr Athina-Myrto Chioni

"Design and synthesis of novel non-peptidic KISS1R antagonists to restore drug sensitivity to triple-negative breast cancer patients"

Successful supervisions as first supervisor:

 Mahmood, Hiba-Tun-Noor A. (PhD; " FGFR Signalling in Human Cervical Cancer Cell Lines"; 2020)

 Ashiq, Fazeela (Masters of Science by Research; "Investigating the Involvement of FGFR Signalling in Cervical Cancer using a 3D Organotypic Model"; 2017)

Qualifications and expertise

  • Internal and external examiner for research degrees
  • Guest Editor for IJMS. Special Issue
  • Review Editor at Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology-Cancer Cell Biology (March 2023-Present)

Areas of specialism

  • Confocal & Fluorescent Microscopy
  • Cell, Tissue & 3D Organotypic Cultures
  • Immunocytochemistry and Immunohistochemistry
  • Cell, Molecular & Cancer Biology
  • Functional Studies

Scholarly affiliations

  • Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (FIBMS)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
  • Member of the Genetics Society
  • Member of the European Association of Cancer Research (EACR)

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision


Number of items: 15.


Bou Antoun, Nauf and Chioni, Athina-Myrto (2023) Dysregulated signalling pathways driving anticancer drug resistance. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24(15), p. 12222. ISSN (print) 1422-0067

Mahmood, Hiba-Tun-Noor Afshan, Tomas Bort, Elena, Walker, Anthony J., Grose, Richard P. and Chioni, Athina-Myrto (2022) FGF signalling facilitates cervical cancer progression. FEBS Journal, 289(12), pp. 3440-3456. ISSN (print) 1742-464X

Chioni, Athina-Myrto and Grose, Richard P. (2021) Biological significance and targeting of the FGFR axis in cancer. Cancers, 13(22), p. 5681. ISSN (online) 2072-6694

Coleman, Stacey J., Bruce, Charo, Chioni, Athina‑Myrto, Kocher, Hemant M. and Grose, Richard P. (2014) The ins and outs of fibroblast growth factor receptor signalling. Clinical Science, 127(4), pp. 217-231. ISSN (print) 0143-5221

Yeste-Velasco, Marc, Mao, Xueying, Grose, Richard, Kudahetti, Sakunthala C, Lin, Dongmei, Marzec, Jacek, Vasiljevic, Natasa, Chaplin, Tracy, Xue, Liyan, Xu, Maojia, Foster, Julie M, Karnam, Santi S, James, Sharon Y, Chioni, Athina-Myrto, Gould, David, Lorincz, Attila T, Oliver, R Tim D, Chelala, Claude, Thomas, Gareth M, Shipley, Janet M, Mather, Stephen J, Berney, Daniel M, Young, Bryan D and Lu, Yong-Jie (2014) Identification of ZDHHC14 as a novel human tumour suppressor gene. The Journal of Pathology, 232(5), pp. 566-577. ISSN (print) 0022-3417

Coleman, Stacey J, Chioni, Athina-Myrto, Ghallab, Mohammed, Anderson, Rhys K, Lemoine, Nicholas R, Kocher, Hemant M and Grose, Ricahrd P (2014) Nuclear translocation of FGFR1 and FGF2 in pancreatic stellate cells facilitates pancreatic cancer cell invasion. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 6(4), pp. 467-481. ISSN (print) 1757-4676

Chioni, Athina-Myrto and Grose, Richard (2012) FGFR1 cleavage and nuclear translocation regulates breast cancer cell behavior. The Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), 197(6), pp. 801-817. ISSN (print) 0021-9525

Jarosz, Monika, Robbez-Masson, Luisa, Chioni, Athina-Myrto, Cross, Barbara, Rosewell, Ian and Grose, Richard (2012) Fibroblast Growth Factor 22 is not essential for skin development and repair but plays a role in tumorigenesis. PLoS ONE, 7(6), e39436. ISSN (online) 1932-6203

Chioni, Athina-Myrto, Shao, Dongmin, Grose, Richard and Djamgoz, Mustafa B.A. (2010) Protein kinase A and regulation of neonatal Nav1.5 expression in human breast cancer cells: Activity-dependent positive feedback and cellular migration. The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 42(2), pp. 346-358. ISSN (print) 1357-2725

Chioni, Athina-Myrto and Grose, Richard (2009) Negative regulation of fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF-10) by polyoma enhancer activator 3 (PEA3). European Journal of Cell Biology, 88(7), pp. 371-384. ISSN (print) 0171-9335

Chioni, Athina-Myrto, Brackenbury, William J., Calhoun, Jeffrey D., Isom, Lori L. and Djamgoz, Mustafa B.A. (2009) A novel adhesion molecule in human breast cancer cells: Voltage-gated Na[sup]+ channel [beta]1 subunit. The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 41(5), pp. 1216-1227. ISSN (print) 1357-2725

Chioni, Athina-Myrto and Grose, Richard (2008) Organotypic modelling as a means of investigating epithelial-stromal interactions during tumourigenesis. Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair, 1(1), p. 8. ISSN (online) 1755-1536

Book Section

Chioni, Athina-Myrto, Bajwa, Rabia Tayba and Grose, Richard (2016) 3D organotypic culture model to study components of ERK signaling. In: Jimenez, Gerardo, (ed.) ERK signaling : methods and protocols. Cham, Switzerland : Springer. pp. 255-267. (Methods in Molecular Biology) ISSN (print) 1064-3745 ISBN 9781493964222

Fearon, Abbie E., Chioni, Athina-Myrto and Grose, Richard P. (2015) The FGFR receptor family. In: Wheeler, Deric L. and Yarden, Yosef, (eds.) Receptor Tyrosine Kinases : family and subfamilies. Cham : Springer. pp. 265-295. ISBN 9783319118871

Conference or Workshop Item

Chioni, Athina-Myrto, Mahmood, Hiba-Tun-Noor A. and Ashiq, Fazeela (2017) Investigating the role of FGFR signalling in cervical cancer. In: NCRI Cancer Conference 2017; 05 - 08 Nov 2017, Liverpool, U.K..

This list was generated on Mon Apr 22 06:51:37 2024 BST.

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

Qualifications and expertise

  • External Examiner for BSc Medical Biosciences at Imperial College London (2017-2021)
  • External Examiner for Bioscience undergraduate BSc programmes at the University of Hertfordshire (2021-Present)
  • External advisor for an MSc course at QMUL
  • Member of the Faculty of Health, Sciences, Social Care & Education (HSSCE) Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) action group
  • EACR Ambassador
  • Review Editor at Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology-Cancer Cell Biology (March 2023-Present)

Leadership and management

Qualifications and expertise

  • Deputy Course Leader for BSc (Honours) Biomedical Sciences - 2016- 2021
  • Module Leader LS5009 Pathobiology 2014- Present
  • External Examiner for BSc Medical Biosciences at Imperial College London 2017-2021
  • Internal and External Examiner for Research Degrees
  • External Examiner for Bioscience undergraduate BSc programmes at the University of Hertfordshire (2021-Present)
  • Member of Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Leadership and Policy Making group

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