Dr Jean Assender BSc PhD PGCE

Dr Jean Assender

Institute of Clinical Sciences
Lecturer in Cancer Sciences

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences

Jean Assender is a Lecturer in Institute of Clinical Sciences with an interest in breast cancer.

She is the College Head of Quality Assurance and Enhancement for postgraduate taught programmes and frequently chairs University appeals hearings.

As Programme Lead for the MSc in Clinical Oncology she has increased the scope of the programme introducing new modules, an FRCR route and now a full time programme with clinical observership. The programme offers students from a variety of oncology related disciplines a high quality learning experience, taught by experts in the field.

She has an excellent and dedicated team working for her within the Cancer Sciences Teaching Support office.


  • Member of the Higher Education Academy
  • PGCE (Higher and Further Education) University of Wales, College Newport
  • PhD in Cell Signalling, University of Wales, College of Medicine, 1992 
  • BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry with Medical Biochemistry, University of Kent at Canterbury, 1988


Jean Assender qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry with Medical Biochemistry from the University of Kent, Canterbury, during which she spent a year working for ICI Pharmaceuticals, Alderley Park. She went on to study for a PhD in Cell Signalling before spending 2 years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Karolinska Institute, researching the role of Protein kinase C in smooth muscle cell signalling. Jean returned to the University of Wales, College of Medicine and joined the Tenovus Cancer Research Group to lead their new cell signalling team looking at changes in signalling molecules in breast and prostate cancer.

In 1998, Jean decided to dedicated her time primarily to course management and improving the quality of teaching provision. She became a Professional Tutor in the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, teaching on their Biochemistry, MBChB and BDS programmes and leading the revision of the first year of the BDS course. Whilst teaching was her prime focus she continued to collaborate with Tenovus on a tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer project, with Prof Andrew Newby at the BRI on a smooth muscle cell project and with Dr Sarah Hall at Cardiff University on a cardiomyocyte project.

In 2003 Jean took up the post of Lecture in Cancer Sciences at the University of Birmingham. She now works part time (3 days) a week, mainly running the MSc in Clinical Oncology but also acting as the quality assurance lead for taught postgraduate provision within the College of Medicine and Dental Sciences.


  • MSc in Clinical Oncology (Induction, Cancer Therapy and Management, Research Methods)
  • MBChB 1st yr Integrated Problems 
  • MBChB 2nd yr Module: Cancer- causes to cures
  • BMedSci Clinical Sciences programme 
  • Personal mentor to MBChB students and MSc Clinical Oncology Students


For the past few years Jean has collaborated with Dr Ashley Martin looking at mechanism of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells using a proteomic approach.

Her main research expertise is in the area of cell signalling; particularly the expression and role of protein kinase C in smooth muscle and breast cancer cells.


Assender JW, Gee JMW, Lewis I, Ellis IO, Robinson JFR, Nicholson RI (2007). “Protein kinase C Isoform Expression as a Predictor of Disease Outcome on Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer” J Clinical Pathology: 60 (11) p1216-21.

Fredholm, BB, Assender JW, Irenius E, Kodama N, Saito N (2003) “Synergistic effects of adenosine A1 and P2Y receptor stimulation on Calcium mobilization and PKC translocation in DDT1 MF-2 cells” Cell. Mol. Neurobiol.: 23 (3) p370-400.

Hussain S, Assender JW, Bond M, Wong LF, Murphy D, Newby AC. (2002) “Activation of protein kinase-C is essential for cytokine-induced metalloproteinase-1,-3 and 9 secretion from rabbit smooth muscle cells and inhibits proliferation.” J Biol Chem: 277(30) p27345-52.

Harper ME, Goddard L, Glynne-Jones E, Assender J, Dutkowski CM, Barrow D, Dewhurst OL, Wakeling AE, Nicholson RI (2002) “Multiple responses to EGF receptor activation and their abrogation by a specific EGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor.” Prostate: 52(1) p59-68.

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