Dr Karen Keeshan
- Reader (Paul O'Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre)
R313 Level 3 Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, School of Cancer Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Garscube Estate, Switchback Road, Bearsden, Glasgow, G61 1QH
Dr Karen Keeshan is a Reader in Leukaemia Research at the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, in the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow.
Dr Keeshan graduated with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University College Cork, Ireland in 1998. She trained for a PhD degree under the joint supervision of Prof. Tom Cotter and Dr Sharon McKenna and graduated with a PhD on Apoptosis and Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia from University College Cork in 2002.
Dr Keeshan carried out her postdoctoral training in the USA. She first undertook a post-doctoral research post in Prof. Bruno Calabretta’s laboratory in the Kimmel Cancer Centre, at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, working on signalling in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. She then undertook a second post-doctoral position in Prof. Warren Pear’s laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. She held two Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society awards, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Special Fellowship Award and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Career Development Award working on Acute Lymphoid and Acute Myeloid leukaemia where she first identified TRIB2 as a novel oncogene.
In 2008, Dr Keeshan was awarded a President of Ireland Young Researcher award (PIYRA) a highly prestigious award granted by the President of Ireland on behalf of the Irish Government Agency Science Foundation Ireland which supports “future leaders”. She also received a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions –Individual Fellowship. These enabled Dr Keeshan to establish her Leukaemia research group at the University College Cork, Ireland.
In 2012, Dr Keeshan moved her research group to the University of Glasgow having been awarded a non clinical Senior Lecturer post in Paediatric Haematology funded by the Howat Foundation and Children with Cancer UK, to develop paediatric leukaemia research in Scotland. She has received additional funding from Blood Cancer UK, Yorkhill Leukaemia & Cancer Research Fund and a number of additional charity, studentship and grant awards. Dr Keeshan reviews for high impact journals, a large number of funding agencies including charities and government, is a panel evaluator for fellowships including Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions and enjoys collaborating with colleagues across the world, giving seminars and talks at international conferences and institutes. Dr Keeshan is a leader in Tribbles and cancer research, and has co-organised international conferences in this field.
Dr Keeshan was promoted to Reader in Leukaemia Research in 2016 at the University of Glasgow. She works closely with clinical colleagues at the Royal Hospital for Children and has trained clinical and non-clinical researchers in Leukaemia Research aiming to translate our scientific advances in paediatric leukaemia into clinical practice. Research in the lab focuses on acute myeloid leukaemia and identifying paediatric disease specifications that may improve current therapy. PhD students and post-doctoral researchers in Dr Keeshan’s group are offered opportunities to attend local, national and international conferences and have been awarded prices for selected talks and travel awards. Lab alumni have gone into a variety of careers including academic research, teaching, industry and clinical posts.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Development of a novel SCLtTA/iMLL-AF9 murine model to investigate age-relevant disease biology in MLL-AF9 leukaemia
2023 - 2024
- Using single cell transcriptomics to combat chemoresistance and disease relapse in paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia.
Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group
2022 - 2025
- The role of the Bone Marrow Microenvironment in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) Drug Resistance.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Endowment Funds
2021 - 2022
- Targeting ERBB signalling in acute myeloid leukaemia
Blood Cancer UK
2019 - 2022
- Investigation of CD33-targeted therapy in childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Glasgow Children`s Hospital Charity
2016 - 2019
- The influence of the microenvironment in paediatric AML
Yorkhill Leukaemia & Cancer Research Fund
2016 - 2018
- Dissecting the function of Bcl-3 in NF-kappaB signaling in B cells
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
2015 - 2018
- The importance of stem cell ontogeny in paediatric and adult acute myeloid leukaemia
Glasgow Children`s Hospital Charity
2014 - 2016
- Investigating leukaemic stem cell responses following CD33-targeted therapy and the implications for low and high risk paediatric AML groups
Aila Coull Foundation
2014 - 2015
- Targeting Trib2 oncogenic signalling in normal and malignant stem cells.
Blood Cancer UK
2013 - 2016
Dr Karen Keeshan supervises Postdoctoral researchers, clinical research fellows and PhD students from countries around the world including Ireland, UK, Greece, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Malaysia, Portugal, India, China, Spain, Poland, Australia.
Dr Karen Keeshan supervises Masters students (MSc, MRes and MSci) from different courses and Institutes e.g. Cancer Sciences, Immunology, Biomedical Sciences.
The lab also hosts students for final year undergraduate projects, Erasmus internships, summer internships, and second level school experiences.
Dr Karen Keeshan teaches and assesses on a number of masters and medicine courses;
Course Lead on Level 4 Undergraduate Cancer module; module development, principal lecturer and examiner
MSc Cancer Research & Precision Oncology; Supervisor and assessor
MB ChB BSc Intercalated course; lecturer and examiner
MSc/MRes Biomedical Sciences; Supervisor and assessor
MSc Medical Genetics & Genomics; Supervisor and assessor
MRes Biomedical Sciences and Integrative Mammalian biology; supervisor and assessor
BSc Life Sciences; supervisor and assessor
BSc (Med Sci) Clinical Medicine cancer studies; supervisor and assessor
Dr Karen Keeshan is external and internal PhD Thesis examiner for students at Universities across the UK and EU.