Deborah Caswell

Debbie was awarded her PhD from Stanford University in June 2016. At Stanford, she studied the timing and mechanisms of lung adenocarcinoma metastasis in Professor Monte Winslow’s laboratory. Using a lung cancer mouse model, she compared the ability of early lung lesions and late lung adenocarcinomas to disseminate and metastasize, and unexpectedly discovered that only rare late stage tumour cells can form metastases. This work has now been published in Cancer Discovery (Caswell et al. 2014). She also presented her findings at the Mechanisms and Models of Cancer Conference at Cold Spring Harbor. Subsequently, she discovered that Selenbp1 is an important target of the transcription factor Nkx2-1, which inhibits lung adenocarcinoma growth and metastasis (Caswell et al. 2018). She joined the Francis Crick institute in the fall of 2016, and is currently being co-mentored by both Professor Julian Downward and Professor Charles Swanton. Working between both laboratories, she is developing mouse models that more closely mimic the mutation burden and heterogeneity we see in patients with lung cancer, and studying how immune responses to cancer shape tumour heterogeneity. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, theatre, and trying new and interesting cuisines.