Dr Douglas Ward

Dr Douglas Ward

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Bladder Cancer Research Centre
Robert Aitken Building
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Doug Ward is a Senior Research Fellow and theme lead for Biomarkers and Proteomics at the University of Birmingham Bladder Cancer Research Centre. His main research interests are the use of proteomic and genomic platforms to discover prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers for bladder cancer, biomarker validation and translation into clinical use.


  • PhD in Protein Biochemistry, University of Leicester 1997 
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Leicester 1991


Postgraduate supervision

Douglas Ward’s research applies genomic and proteomic approaches to discover biomarkers by analysing carefully collected clinical samples. This work capitalises on the advanced mass spectrometry equipment provided by Birmingham Science City, the large patient base in the West Midlands, and local scientific, clinical, bioinformatic and statistical expertise. Most of his work focuses on identifying novel tumour markers for lung, liver, GI tract and bladder cancers. He also uses proteomics to study α-antitrypsin deficiency and organ transplantation. In addition to biomarker discovery, Dr Ward is also interested in using mass spectrometry to assay biomarkers where immunoassays are not suitable, and in the downstream validation of promising candidates.


Recent publications


Zatyka, M, Rosenstock, TR, Sun, C, Palhegyi, AM, Hughes, GW, Lara-Reyna, S, Astuti, D, di Maio, A, Sciauvaud, A, Korsgen, ME, Stanulovic, V, Kocak, G, Rak, M, Pourtoy-Brasselet, S, Winter, K, Varga, T, Jarrige, M, Polvèche, H, Correia, J, Frickel, E-M, Hoogenkamp, M, Ward, DG, Aubry, L, Barrett, T & Sarkar, S 2023, 'Depletion of WFS1 compromises mitochondrial function in hiPSC-derived neuronal models of Wolfram syndrome', Stem Cell Reports, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 1090-1106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2023.04.002

Kerzeli, IK, Kostakis, A, Türker, P, Malmström, P-U, Hemdan, T, Mezheyeuski, A, Ward, DG, Bryan, RT, Segersten, U, Lord, M & Mangsbo, SM 2023, 'Elevated levels of MMP12 sourced from macrophages are associated with poor prognosis in urothelial bladder cancer', BMC Cancer, vol. 23, no. 1, 605. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12885-023-11100-0

The BladderPath trial management group 2023, 'Properties of non-coding mutation hotspots as urinary biomarkers for bladder cancer detection', Scientific Reports, vol. 13, no. 1, 1060. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-27675-4

Goel, A, Ward, DG, Noyvert, B, Yu, M, Gordon, NS, Abbotts, B, Colbourne, JK, Kissane, S, James, ND, Zeegers, MP, Cheng, KK, Cazier, J, Whalley, CM, Beggs, AD, Palles, C, Arnold, R & Bryan, RT 2022, 'Combined exome and transcriptome sequencing of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer: associations between genomic changes, expression subtypes, and clinical outcomes', Genome medicine, vol. 14, no. 1, 59 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s13073-022-01056-4

BladderPath Trial Management Group 2022, 'Highly sensitive and specific detection of bladder cancer via targeted ultra-deep sequencing of urinary DNA', European Urology Oncology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2022.03.005

Liu, QW, Ruan, HJ, Chao, WX, Li, MX, Jiao, YL, Ward, DG, Gao, SG & Qi, YJ 2022, 'N-linked glycoproteomic profiling in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma', World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 28, no. 29, pp. 3869-3885. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v28.i29.3869

Gordon, N, Humayun-Zakaria, N, Goel, A, Abbotts, B, Zeegers, MP, Cheng, KK, Arnold, R, James, ND, Bryan, R & Ward, D 2022, 'STAG2 protein expression in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer: associations with sex, genomic and transcriptomic changes, and clinical outcomes', European Urology Open Science, vol. 38, pp. 88-95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euros.2022.02.004

Gordon, NS, Baxter, LA, Goel, A, Arnold, R, Kaur, B, Liu, W, Pirrie, SJ, Hussain, S, Viney, R, Ford, D, Zarkar, A, Wood, MA, Mitin, T, Thompson, RF, James, ND, Ward, DG & Bryan, RT 2022, 'Urine DNA for monitoring chemoradiotherapy response in muscle-invasive bladder cancer: a pilot study', BJU International , vol. 129, no. 1, pp. 32-34. https://doi.org/10.1111/bju.15589

Lindskrog, SV, Prip, FF, Lamy, P, Taber, A, Groeneveld, CS, Birkenkamp-Demtröder, K, Jensen, J, Strandgaard, T, Nordentoft, I, Christensen, E, Sokac, M, Birkbak, NJ, Maretty, L, Hermann, GG, Petersen, AC, Weyerer, V, Grimm, MO, Horstmann, M, Sjödahl, G, Höglund, M, Steiniche, T, Mogensen, K, de Reyniès, A, Nawroth, R, Jordan, B, Lin, X, Dragicevic, D, Ward, D, Goel, A, Hurst, CD, Raman, JD, Warrick, JI, Segersten, U, Sikic, D, van Kessel, KEM, Maurer, T, Meeks, JJ, DeGraff, DJ, Bryan, R, Knowles, MA, Simic, T, Hartmann, A, Zwarthoff, EC, Malmström, PU, Malats, N, Real, FX & Dyrskjøt, L 2021, 'An integrated multi-omics analysis identifies prognostic molecular subtypes of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer', Nature Communications, vol. 12, 2301. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22465-w

Dowell, A, Munford, H, Goel, A, Gordon, N, James, N, Cheng, KK, Zeegers, M, Ward, D & Bryan, R 2021, 'PD-L2 is constitutively expressed in normal and malignant urothelium', Frontiers in Oncology, vol. 11, 626748. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.626748

Goel, A, Ward, D, Gordon, N, Abbotts, B, Zeegers, M, Cheng, KK, James, N, Bryan, R & Arnold, R 2020, 'Back-splicing transcript isoforms (circular RNAs) affect biologically relevant pathways and offer an additional layer of information to stratify NMIBC patients', Frontiers in Oncology, vol. 10, 812. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.00812


Bryan, RT, Arnold, R, Khanim, FL, Shepherd, DE, Patel, P & Ward, DG 2021, 'Establishing the Bladder Cancer Research Centre at the University of Birmingham', Nature Reviews Urology, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 318-320. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41585-021-00448-2

Review article

Gracie, L, Pan, Y, Atenafu, EG, Ward, DG, Teng, M, Pallan, L, Stevens, NM & Khoja, L 2021, 'Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in metastatic melanoma, a systematic review and meta-analysis', European Journal of Cancer , vol. 158, pp. 191-207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.09.019

Gill, E, Sandhu, G, Ward, D, Perks, CM & Bryan, R 2021, 'The sirenic links between diabetes, obesity, and bladder cancer', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 20, 11150. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222011150

Humayun-Zakaria, N, Ward, DG, Arnold, R & Bryan, RT 2021, 'Trends in urine biomarker discovery for urothelial bladder cancer: DNA, RNA, or protein?', Translational Andrology and Urology, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 2787-2808. https://doi.org/10.21037/tau-20-1327

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