Imperial College London

Dr Ana P. Costa-Pereira

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 2815a.costa-pereira Website




145ICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus






  • January 2016: School of Medicine Head of BSc Medical Biosciences (BMB) & BSc Medical Biosciences with Management (BMBM)
  • April 2015: School of Medicine Head of BSc Programme Development
  • 2011: Promoted to Senior Lecturer 
  • 2005-2007: Visiting Scientist at The Francis Crick Institute (formerly Cancer Research UK - London Research Institute & also Imperial Cancer Research Fund)
  • October 2005: Joined Imperial College London as a Research Team Leader (Cytokines and Cancer Signalling Group) and Lecturer in the Department of Surgery and Cancer, Faculty of Medicine
  • 1999-2005: Postdoctoral work at Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute (formerly Cancer Research UK - London Research Institute & also Imperial Cancer Research Fund) (Kerr Lab)
  • 1994-1999: PhD in Biochemistry, University College Cork, Ireland (Cotter Lab)


Cytokines are small proteins produced by the immune system. They can have both beneficial and deleterious effects in cancer development and progression. These molecules are powerful and fast, and understanding how they elicit their biologic responses by activating Janus kinases (JAKs) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) is of fundamental importance for our ability to manage a large number of cancers that either depend on JAK/STAT signalling or that have a strong inflammatory component. For the last 17 years, I have been dissecting signalling networks triggered in response to type I Interferons (IFN-α and IFN-βand type II (IFN-γ) and Interleukin-6-type cytokines (IL-6, OSM), and in the process challenged (successfully) the key paradigm explaining signalling specificity [Costa-Pereira et al. (2002). PNAS. 99: 8043]. Our work now focusses on devising ways to modulate cytokine signalling to develop more effective cancer therapies. This work, is complemented by our interest in other cytokines such as TRAIL and Fas (CD95), which signal through death receptors, thus triggering apoptosis. Current projects thus focus on:

• Regulation and organisation of cytokine signalling networks in tumour cells

• Tumour cell apoptosis signal transduction pathways

• Identification of novel targets for cancer therapy using the above knowledge

Key words: Cancer biology | signal transduction | apoptosis | cytokines | JAKs | STATs | NF-κB


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (awarded 2008)
  • International Cytokine & Interferon Society (ICIS
  • British Association for Cancer Research (BACR


  • Non-Professorial Member of the Senate
  • Undergraduate (UG) School of Medicine Board  | Faculty of Medicine
  • Student Monitoring Group (SMG) Committee | Faculty of Medicine
  • BSc Medical Biosciences (BMB) Education Forum | Faculty of Medicine
  • Education Forum: MBBS Year 4 | Faculty of Medicine
  • BSc Medical Biosciences (BMB) Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) | Faculty of Medicine
  • Postgraduate Education Committee (PGEC) | Department of Surgery & Cancer
  • Division of Cancer Executive Committee | Department of Surgery & Cancer 


  • Biochemical Society Theme Panel V (Signalling) Committee Member (2013-2016)
  • Member of the International Society for Interferon & Cytokine Research (ISICR) (now International Cytokine & Interferon Society after merging with the International Cytokine Society, ICS) Standards Committee (2010-2012)
  • Member of the International Advisory Committee for the ISICR/ICS 2010 Meeting (Chicago, USA)
  • Member of the Jury of the 5th Edition of the Crioestaminal Award (2009, Portugal)
  • Member of the Organising Committee for the triple  joint meeting between the Society for Leukocyte Biology (LBS), ISICR and International Cytokine Society (ICS) (Oct 2009, Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Member of the Organising Committee for the BACR/ Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) Oncology Section conference in Cell Signalling and Novel Cancer Therapeutics (Nov 2007, London, UK)


2015: Imperial College Festival - "What do scientists studying human diseases do?"

2013: Combination Dance - "Code" - scientific advisor



Hergovits S, Mais C, Haan C, et al., 2017, Oncostatin M induces RIG-I and MDA5 expression and enhances the double-stranded RNA response in fibroblasts, Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Vol:21, ISSN:1582-4934, Pages:3087-3099

Rutherford C, Speirs C, Williams JJL, et al., 2016, Phosphorylation of Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) links energy sensing to anti-inflammatory signaling, Science Signaling, Vol:9, ISSN:1945-0877

Schlegel CR, Georgiou ML, Misterek MB, et al., 2015, DAPK2 regulates oxidative stress in cancer cells by preserving mitochondrial function, Cell Death & Disease, Vol:6, ISSN:2041-4889

Schlegel CR, Fonseca A-V, Stoecker S, et al., 2014, DAPK2 is a novel modulator of TRAIL-induced apoptosis, Cell Death and Differentiation, Vol:21, ISSN:1350-9047, Pages:1780-1791

Bonito NA, Drechsler J, Stoecker S, et al., 2014, Control of gp130 expression by the mitogen-activated protein kinase ERK2, Oncogene, Vol:33, ISSN:0950-9232, Pages:2255-2263

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