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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Yusra Siddiqui

Dr Yusra Siddiqui

Lecturer in Biology and Lead for Student Support (Racial Equality and Inclusion)


 Geoffrey Pope 419


Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK


I am a Lecturer in Biology recently joined University of Exeter as a HE Lecturer with lots of international experience and an entrepreneurial background. I am the Deputy Programme Director and Senior Tutor for the new MSc in Advanced Biological Sciences and Business programme, and also the Academic Lead for Student Support (Racial Equality and Inclusion) for Biosciences. I am also part of the University's BME network Student, Staff & Allies Steering group.

I am a cell biologist with an expertise in prostate cancer biology, RNA-Seq data analysis and genomics-based projects. I also have experience of working with various animal models including zebrafish and mice. I am an active science communicator and have widespread interests in pedagogical research.


2022 – Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2015 -  PhD Biochemistry - University of Bristol, UK

2010 - MPhil Biochemistry / Molecular Biology - Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan

2008 - MSc Biochemistry - PMAS- University of Arid Agriculture, Pakistan


2024 – present         Lecturer in Biology, Department for BioSciences, University of Exeter

2023 – present         Visiting Lecturer, School of Health and Life Sciences, University of Roehampton

2021 – 2023              Lecturer in BioMedical Sciences, Human Sciences Research Centre, University of Derby

2019  - 2019              Visiting Lecturer, Department of Biotechnology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan

2017 – 2017              Research Technician, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IIMCB), Poland

2015 – 2016              Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

2013 – 2014              Research Assistant, University of Bristol

2009 – 2010              Research Associate, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan

Research group links

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Research interests

I am interested in pedagogical research, with focus on digital pedagogy, inclusive education and decolonisation of biosciences. During my Lecturer role at Derby, I have been actively involved in innovative media-based assessments and a collaborative project on 'Working towards a Culturally Sensitive Curriculum'. As a member of the University of Derby project steering group, I have been involved as part of a national effort by QAA Collaborative Enhancement Projects 2021-22 to generate a cross-institutional inclusive education framework and toolkit to be used by all QAA members.

As a cancer biologist, I am interested in understanding the molecular events underlying prostate cancer progression. My research interests in prostate cancer started during my PhD at Bristol, whereby I investigated the role of a transcription factor called PRH (Proline-Rich Homeodomain protein) in prostate cell migration and proliferation. I worked with a range of in vitro prostate cell lines, that were normal immortalized to highly cancerous ones to understand prostate cancer development better. I also worked with 3D cultures of prostate cell lines, trying to recapitulate the in vivo environment in culture. My post-doctoral work was in melanoma progression, but it helped me develop an insight into using ex vivo angiogenesis assays and various cancer murine models. My work at IIMCB (Poland) equipped me with knowledge of analysing RNA-Seq data and familiarising myself with zebrafish as a model organism.

I am currently interested in understanding the link of prostate cancer progression to risk factors like sexually transmitted infections (STIs), a recent area to be explored. In this project, the link between Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the most common STI, is planned to be explored using human prostate cancer tissue sections from various clinical stages, both histologically and using bioinformatic approaches.

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Journal articles

Bello RO, Frew S, Siddiqui Y, Minhas R (2023). Advances and Prospects in Understanding Vertebrate Cardiac Conduction System, Pacemaker Cell, and Cardiac Muscle Development: Toward Novel Biological Therapies. Muscles, 2(4), 338-352. Abstract.
Bello RO, Willis-Powell L, James O, Sharma A, Marsh E, Ellis L, Gaston K, Siddiqui Y (2023). Does Human Papillomavirus Play a Causative Role in Prostate Cancer? a Systematic Review Using Bradford Hill's Criteria. CANCERS, 15(15).  Author URL.
Minhas R, Loeffler-Wirth H, Siddiqui YH, Obrębski T, Vashisht S, Nahia KA, Paterek A, Brzozowska A, Bugajski L, Piwocka K, et al (2021). Transcriptome profile of the sinoatrial ring reveals conserved and novel genetic programs of the zebrafish pacemaker. BMC Genomics, 22(1). Abstract.
Marcolino E, Siddiqui YH, van den Bosch M, Poole AW, Jayaraman P-S, Gaston K (2020). Blood platelets stimulate cancer extravasation through TGFβ-mediated downregulation of PRH/HHEX. ONCOGENESIS, 9(2).  Author URL.
Siddiqui YH, Kershaw RM, Humphreys EH, Assis EMJ, Chaudhri S, Jayaraman P-S, Gaston K (2017). CK2 abrogates the inhibitory effects of PRH/HHEX on prostate cancer cell migration and invasion and acts through PRH to control cell proliferation. ONCOGENESIS, 6  Author URL.
Kershaw RM, Siddiqui YH, Roberts D, Jayaraman P-S, Gaston K (2014). PRH/HHex inhibits the migration of breast and prostate epithelial cells through direct transcriptional regulation of Endoglin. ONCOGENE, 33(49), 5592-5600.  Author URL.

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  • Deputy Programme lead for MSc Biological Sciences with Business
  • Senior Tutor, PGT

I contribute to teaching on the following modules:

  • BIO3082 - Science communication
  • BIOM549 - Advanced Laboratory Skills



Information not currently available

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Office Hours:

9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

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