Ed Horton awarded Dick Heinegård European Young Investigator Award at MBE 2016

By Ed Horton, June 2016

I recently attended the 2nd Matrix Biology Europe (MBE) conference in Athens, which is an international conference focusing on all aspects of extracellular matrix biology and aims to bring together researchers and scientists from across Europe that are working on matrix biology.

2016-06-11 21.18.07
View of the acropolis from the rooftop restaurant at the conference venue.


IMG_20160614_151806Along with interesting presentations from matrix researchers across Europe, one aspect of the conference was to select the winner of the 2016 Dick Heinegård European Young Investigator Award. This award was set up to commemorate the work of the matrix biologist Dick Heinegård. Each European matrix society selected one nominee for the award and six of these gave a talk at the conference. I was nominated by the British Society for Matrix Biology and gave a talk that summarised my PhD work, that involved using proteomics to study integrin adhesion complexes (PMID: 26833789; PMID; 26479319). I was delighted to be selected as the winner of the award at the meeting.

It was great to attend this conference in Athens and I would recommend this meeting to anyone who has an interest in Matrix Biology. Particular thanks go to the British Society for Matrix Biology for their support. The next meeting will be held in Manchester, UK, in 2018.

Janine Erler is awarded Cancer Society Junior Research Prize

By Erler Lab, May 2016

We are delighted to announce that Janine Erler has been awarded the Danish Cancer Society Junior Research Prize.

The Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelses) has recognised Janine’s pioneering work into the role of the enzyme LOX in cancer progression and her ongoing efforts to identify new ways to prevent the spread of cancer throughout the body. Janine has been researching cancer for the past 16 years.

Janine was responsible for the discovery of an enzyme called LOX which cancer cells release. Thanks to her team, we now know that LOX causes changes to their immediate environment, making it easier for the cancer to spread to new parts of the body. This spread of cancer is called metastasis, and is responsible for 90% of cancer deaths.

What have Janine and her team found so far?

Cancer cells release LOX to identify cancer-free sites. LOX change the structure of the organs, making tissue better suited for cancer invasion. By measuring the levels of LOX enzyme in head and neck cancer patients, disease progression can be accurately predicted. Janine has also developed a drug that blocks the LOX process, and this drug is being tested in clinical trials.

And what about the future?
Janine and her team will continue to research LOX, particularly the role it plays in different cancer types. Another goal is to develop new ways to disrupt and block the LOX enzyme, using methods that are totally unique to different cancers and different patients.

We are all thrilled that Janine’s hard work has been celebrated by the Danish Cancer Society, and we are very grateful to the society for their support.

Visit the Danish Cancer Society’s website to learn more and watch a video about Janine’s award (Danish text/English audio).

We’ve published in Nature!

By Erler Lab, June 2015

The hypoxic cancer secretome induces pre-metastatic bone lesions through lysyl oxidase

We’re really excited that a project in our lab, spearheaded by Dr Thomas R Cox, has been published in Nature! The paper titled ‘The hypoxic cancer secretome induces pre-metastatic bone lesions through lysyl oxidase‘ looked at how secreted factors from breast cancers can drive pre-metastatic niche formation in the bone to enhance tumour metastasis. You can read more about the paper, and also read about how excited the international scientific and cancer research communities got about the paper by visiting Tom’s website.


Breast Cancer Lysyl Oxidase LOX Bone Enzyme