Prof Valerie Speirs obtained a BSc in Zoology from the University of Aberdeen followed by her PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Glasgow. She became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2007 (published works) and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. Her scientific career has included spells at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and the universities of Liverpool, Hull and Leeds.
She obtained a Personal Chair in Experimental Pathology & Oncology at the University of Leeds in 2012 and relocated to her alma mater in July 2018 as Chair in Molecular Oncology. Her research portfolio focuses on oestrogen receptor biology, endocrine resistant breast cancer, male breast cancer and developing improved in vitro models of breast cancer to explore the role of the stroma, with funding from sources including: Cancer Research UK, MRC, NC3Rs, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Now, Breast Cancer Research Trust, Breast Cancer UK, Animal Free Research UK and Friends of Anchor.
As part of a consortium which recognised that scientists required access to human breast tissue to help accelerate research (1,2), she helped established the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank and remains the PI of the Leeds centre, where she holds a visiting professorship. She also established SEARCHBreast, a virtual resource aimed at sharing materials which are often surplus following animal studies on breast cancer, thus reducing the numbers of animals used in research.
She is a member of the National Cancer Research Institute’s Cellular Molecular Pathology (CM-Path) initiative, representing the Discovery work stream which investigates the biology of cancer and its treatments and is also on the biobanking subgroup. She is secretary-elect for the British Association for Cancer Research, which promotes the advance of research and exchange of information in all aspects of cancer.
BACR is a registered charity in England and Wales (289297)
c/o Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James’s, Cancer Genetics Building,
St James's University Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF