Yolanda Calle

Research activity per year

Personal profile


- BSc. (1992). Biology. University of the Basque Country, Spain.

- PhD. (1998). Cell Biology. University of the Basque Country, Spain.

Research interests

My laboratory is interested in the regulation of adhesions and cytoskeletal dynamics in inflammation and cancer with a particular current focus on certain tumours that locate in the bone marrow (multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukaemia, metastatic prostate, metastatic breast and metastatic colorectal cancers). Our final aim is the identification of new anti-cancer therapies. We perform basic research and functional studies to determine whether specific signalling pathways associated with cell adhesion in inflammation and the tumour microenvironment can be used as drugable targets.

We study the signalling pathways that facilitate the interaction of cancer cells with the local protective stromal niches. We study the dynamics of adhesion and cytoskeletal remodelling in myeloma cells and tumour-associated myeloid cells (macrophages, dendritic cells and osteoclasts). These interactions are crucial for the proliferative potential of cancer cells, their adhesion-dependent drug resistance and for tissue invasion. In the case of multiple myeloma, adhesion dynamics are also critical for specific features of myeloma such as the hyperactivation of osteoclasts leading to bone lytic lesions and morbid fractures in patients.

We are also developing heterotypic in vitro co-culture models for more accurate high throughput screening of drug efficacy against cell adhesion mediated drug resistance. We have developed an in vitro model for multiple myeloma, which allows for the simultaneous detection of the impact of drugs on various aspects of the biology of myeloma cells and bone marrow stromal components in co-culture. Identified targets are then validated in vivo using a myeloma mouse model. These studies provide the preclinical evidence to initiate clinical studies in order to develop new therapies. We are expanding our studies to the bone metastatic forms of prostate, breast and colorectal cancers with the aim of developing new therapies for these currently incurable forms of cancer.

Research projects

2003-2006 Co-applicant in a Wellcome Trust project entitled: Role of podosomes in regulating dendritic cell migration (PI: Professor Gareth Jones)

2007-2010 Co-applicant in a Wellcome Trust project entitled: "WIP-WASP interactions and the regulation of dendritic cell podosomes". (PI: Professor Gareth Jones)

2011-2013 Principal investigator in a project grant from CRUK (Discovery Committee Grants). Title: Multiple myeloma tumour microenvironment screen for novel drug synergies. (Collaborators Dr Karthik Ramasamy, Oxford University and Professor Steve A Schey, King's College London)

2013-2016 Co-applicant in a Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research grant. Title: Imaging calcitonin receptor expression in multiple myeloma in Humans. (PI: Professor Phillip Blower, King's College London)

2015-2017 Principal investigator in a Cancer Research UK Small Molecule Drug Discovery project grant (collaborators: Professor Lucy Di Sylvio, King's College London, Professor Eric So, King's College London, Dr Laurent Lacroix, Roehampton University and Dr Volker Behrends). Title: Development of a fluorescence-based experimental platform to evaluate the concomitant effect of drugs on the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) cells.


Subjects related to Molecular and Cell Biology in health and disease.

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