Kim Sharp

Kim Sharp

Former PhD student

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Kim studied Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol, then joined the Myeloma Molecular Therapy Team at the Institute of Cancer Research where she was involved in the bio-banking of blood and bone marrow samples from national myeloma clinical trials. Kim has now successfully completed her PhD in the Pepper Lab at Brighton and Sussex Medical School where she worked on targeting leukaemic stem cells in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia using ProTide nucleoside analogues.

During her research she identified a sub-population of cells with reduced expression of C-type lectin-like molecule 1 (CLL-1). She then cell sorted these CD34+CD38dimCLL-1dim cells and showed that they displayed functional characteristics typically associated with leukaemic stem cells (LSCs). These included relative quiescence (see figure below), low intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, enhanced clonogenicity and increased self-renewal. Importantly, CD34+CD38dimCLL-1dim cells were identified in primary AML samples and were shown to exhibit similar functional characteristics. Identifying these differences creates the potential to develop more targeted therapies that can preferentially deplete LSCs.

CD34+CD38-CLL-1- ‘stem-like’ sub-population in AML cells are more quiescent. Cell cycle analysis performed before and after FACS sorting AML cells into a CD34+CD38-CLL-1- ‘stem-like’ sub-population and a CD34+CD38+CLL-1+ bulk tumour sub-population. Cells were treated with CytoPhaseT Violet dye for 90 minutes at 37°C and then acquired on a flow cytometer equipped with a 405 nm (Violet) laser with a 450/45 bandpass filter. Cell cycle distribution was analysed using the FlowJo v10 Dean Jett Fox univariate cell cycle platform. The CD34+CD38-CLL-1- ‘stem-like’ have far less cells in S+G2/M and are therefore more quiescent. This assay is being used to identify identified different characteristics in the more ‘stem like’ population in a tumour as these cells are most likely to cause relapse.

Kim has moved back to her home town near Oxford. She has secured a post-doctoral research position at Oxford University and will be working there until the summer when she will set off on her travels across the USA. On her return she plans to continue as a researcher, and we would love to have her back in BSMS!

  • Cancer Biology
  • Haematology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Drug discovery