Dr Roberta Burden

Dr Roberta Burden

Senior Council

Dr Roberta Burden is a Lecturer and Principal Investigator within the Nanomedicine and Biotherapeutics research cluster at the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast.

Dr Burden began her scientific career by achieving a BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry from Queen’s University Belfast. Following this, she undertook a MSc degree in Medical Sciences within the School of Medicine (Department of Haematology), where her research was focused on delineating a molecular signature for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. Dr Burden then went on to complete her PhD at the School of Pharmacy in protease biochemistry and molecular oncology, under the supervision of Professor Christopher Scott.

Dr Burden’s postdoctoral career spanned both industry and academia. She was a Senior Scientist at Fusion Antibodies Ltd, where she worked on identifying novel therapeutic targets and the development of antibody-based drugs as cancer treatments. On returning to academia, she was a postdoctoral fellow within the Drug Discovery research group at the PGJCCR, where her work focused on characterizing novel targets for breast cancer treatment. Further postdoctoral work was undertaken back within the School of Pharmacy, where she focused on the molecular and pharmacological evaluation of Cathepsin S as a target for disease treatment.

In 2012, Dr Burden was appointed as a Lecturer in Pharmacology in the Molecular Therapeutics research cluster within the School of Pharmacy. Dr Burden’s research is primarily focused on delineating the role of proteases in normal physiology and pathologies such as cancer, with an overarching aim to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of disease. Much of her research to date has focused on the cysteine proteases, Cathepsin S and Cathepsin V. Her research group have identified novel mechanisms by which these proteases promote tumour development and she is an integral part of a large interdisciplinary research team at QUB that are developing small molecule inhibitors to target these proteases. Her work has been published in numerous high-impact journals including Molecular Cancer, Frontiers in Pharmacology and Breast Cancer Research, with research funding acquired from the Medical Research Council, Breast Cancer Now and Rosetrees Trust.

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