Dr Sarah Koushyar

About

I am a lecturer in genetics and molecular biology at Kingston University and module leader of the molecular biology of the cell (LS5001). I also teach on the cellular and molecular biology of cancer (LS7008), current concepts in biomolecular science (LS6002) and molecular genetics and bioinformatics (LS6001).  

Throughout my research career at Cardiff University, I developed a passion for teaching, and developed my pedagogic skills to really strengthen my teaching and support learning.  I was awarded fellow status at the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and I continue to develop and improve my pedagogic skills. 

My research focus predominantly focuses on how Wnt signalling regulates metastasis in solid cancers such as prostate, gastric and bile duct cancer using preclinical models (both in vitro and in vivo models), in the hope of discovering novel therapeutic targets.

I have first author and collaborative publications in Oncogenesis, Cancer Research, Cancer Discovery and the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and Cancer Letters.

I completed my PhD project in the division of cancer and genetics at Cardiff University, which was investigating mechanisms driving castration resistance in prostate cancer. I have a Masters by Research in Biomedical Science from the University of Bedfordshire, specialising in Non-canonical Wnt signalling in prostate cancer and I graduated with a first in Biomedical Science (Bsc with Hons) and received the Institute of Biomedical science prize from the University of Bedfordshire.

Academic responsibilities

Lecturer in Genetics and Molecular Biology

Qualifications

  • FHEA
  • PhD
  • Master by Research
  • First class Bsc (Hons) Biomedical Science

Teaching and learning

I was successful at being awarded fellow status at the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) in 2021 at Cardiff University. I teach on a range of different levels (level 3-7) and often use digital technology tools such as Mentimeter and Turning point to enhance the learning experience. 

I have several final year project students that are focusing on how Wnt signalling drives aggressive prostate cancer in the hope of deciphering mechanisms that are driving metastasis and treatment resistance which is urgently needed for prostate cancer patients.  This is in the hope of identifying novel drug targets to improve current standard of care. 

Experiencing teaching in both a large and a small student cohort and pitching the content to different levels (level 3,4 5,6,7) has encouraged me to reflect on how I adapt my teaching to different teaching environments and have completed courses provided by LTEC at Kingston University. 

Alongside teaching at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level, I completed two placements as Brilliant Club tutor. Here, I taught A level students from under-funded and under-represented schools about my PhD project, entailing molecular events that occur during treatment resistance in prostate cancer and also promoting and widening participation in higher education.

Qualifications and expertise

  • FHEA

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught

Research

My research focus is determining if Wnt signalling drives metastatic prostate cancer, in the hope of developing novel therapeutic strategies for prostate cancer patients. 

My PhD project focused on understanding mechanisms that drive castration resistance in prostate cancer, using in vitro models to assess the role the protein Prohibitin had in hormone naive and castration resistance prostate cancer.  Data collected in my PhD was published in Oncogenesis.

During my research assistant and research associate posts at Cardiff University, I widened my research focus onto different solid cancers such as bile duct and gastric cancer.  I focused on evaluating the role the Wnt receptors (FZD7) had on driving metastasis and the therapeutic benefit of targeting the Wnt signalling pathway at both the receptor/ligand and intracellular level using drugs such as LGK974 that is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials. 

I am very keen to collaborate which is proven on input on group publications and I am always looking for new ideas and collaborators. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • PhD
  • Post-doctoral research associate
  • Research assistant
  • Research technician

Areas of specialism

  • Cancer biology
  • Wnt signalling
  • Cancer therapeutics
  • Cancer metastasis
  • Solid cancers

Scholarly affiliations

  • Cardiff University

Social media

LinkedIn