Dr Vicki E. Smith PhD

Dr Vicki E. Smith

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Lecturer in Molecular Endocrinology

Contact details

Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, 2nd Floor IBR
Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Vicki is a Lecturer in Molecular Endocrinology in the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research at the University of Birmingham. Her current research interests are focussed on enhancing radioiodine uptake in thyroid and breast cancer and investigating the molecular pathogenesis of thyroid disease, particularly the signalling pathways that contribute to thyroid cancer growth and progression.

 Vicki has authored a number of publications and has presented data at both national and international conferences on Endocrinology and Thyroidology. Her research has attracted funding from the MRC, Wellcome Trust, British Thyroid Foundation and Society for Endocrinology, and she has won a number of awards including the Society for Endocrinology Young Endocrinologist Prize Lecture and the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology Prize.


PhD in Medicine, University of Birmingham (2008)

BSc (Hons) in Medical Biochemistry, University of Leicester (2000)


Vicki qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Leicester in 2000. She then spent over four years working for a biopharmaceutical company in Oxfordshire, identifying potential drug targets using genetic analyses of large patient cohorts.

 Vicki subsequently moved to Birmingham to study for a PhD in Medicine, under the supervision of Professors Chris McCabe and Jayne Franklyn, which she completed in 2008. She continued to work in the Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism as an MRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with a brief visit to the lab of Professor James Fagin at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

 Vicki has a growing list of peer-reviewed research papers and reviews, and has presented her data at conferences both nationally and internationally. Her research has attracted a number of major grants and awards.

 Following her recent appointment as Lecturer in the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research Vicki is currently establishing her independent research group. She has an active teaching role within the University and sits on the Postdoctoral / Early Researcher Career Development And Training (PERCAT) committee. 

 Externally, Vicki is an active member of the Society for Endocrinology and currently sits on the Science Committee.


Postgraduate supervision

Vicki supervises PhD students on the following projects:

  • A New Therapeutic Target to Facilitate Radioiodide Treatment of Breast Cancer 
  • The Regulation of Sodium Iodide Symporter (NIS) Trafficking and Targeting in Differentiated Thyroid Cancer
Novel Functional Binding Partners of the Sodium Iodide Symporter


Vicki’s research interests are centred on thyroid biology and the molecular pathogenesis of thyroid disease. She is particularly interested in the signalling pathways that mediate normal thyroid growth and function and are dysregulated in thyroid cancer and goitre. With a longstanding interest in investigating the repression of the iodide transporter NIS in thyroid cancer Vicki has recently identified a possible new therapeutic strategy to improve critical radioiodine treatment in thyroid tumours. She is currently interested in exploring the possibility of applying these strategies to induce radioiodine uptake in other tumour types such as breast cancer. These investigations include in vitro culture systems, animal models and human tissue to combine fundamental and translational research.

Other activities

Committee Membership

  • Society for Endocrinology Science Committee member
  • Society for Endocrinology Programme Organising Committee member
  • British Thyroid Association Executive Committee

 Society Membership

  • Society for Endocrinology                              
  • British Thyroid Association                             
  • American Thyroid Association           
  • European Society for Endocrinology              
  • British Thyroid Foundation

 Peer Review

  • Endocrine-Related Cancer [I.F. = 5.3]           
  • Journal of Molecular Endocrinology [I.F. = 3.6]
  • Journal of Endocrinological Investigation [I.F. = 1.5] 
  • Oncogene [I.F. = 8.6] 
  • Journal of Endocrinology [I.F. = 3.9]  
  • Endocrine Connections
Oncotarget [I.F. = 6.4]


Smith J, Read ML, Hoffman J, Brown R, Bradshaw B, Campbell C, Cole T, Navas JD, Eatock F, Gundara JS, Lian E, Mcmullan D, Morgan NV, Mulligan L, Morrison PJ, Robledo M, Simpson MA, Smith VE, Stewart S, Trembath RC, Sidhu S, Togneri FS, Wake NC, Wallis Y, Watkinson JC, Maher ER, McCabe CJ, Woodward ER. Germline ESR2 mutation predisposes to medullary thyroid carcinoma and causes up-regulation of RET expression.  Human Molecular Genetics. 2016 Mar 3. pii: ddw057. [Epub ahead of print]

Read ML, Seed RI, Kwan PP, Sharma N, Smith VE, Watkins RJ, Stratford AL, Kim DS, Ward S, Boelaert K, Franklyn JA, Turnell AS, McCabe CJ. The Proto-oncogene PBF Binds p53 and is Associated with Prognostic Features in Colorectal Cancer.

Molecular Carcinogenesis. 2016 Jan;55(1):15-26.

Garcia-Rendueles ME, Ricarte-Filho JC, Untch BR, Landa I, Knauf JA, Voza F, Smith VE, Ganly I, Taylor BS, Persaud Y, Oler G, Fang Y, Jhanwar SC, Viale A, Heguy A, Huberman KH, Giancotti F, Ghossein R, Fagin JA. NF2 Loss Promotes Oncogenic RAS-Induced Thyroid Cancers via YAP-Dependent Transactivation of RAS Proteins and Sensitizes Them to MEK Inhibition.  Cancer Discovery. 2015 Nov;5(11):1178-93.

Okosieme O, Gilbert J, Abraham P, Boelaert K, Dayan C, Gurnell M, Leese G, McCabe C, Perros P, Smith V, Williams G, Vanderpump M. Management of primary hypothyroidism: statement by the British Thyroid Association Executive Committee.  Clinical Endocrinology. 2015 May 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Read ML, Seed RI, Fong JC, Modasia B, Ryan GA, Watkins RJ, Gagliano T, Smith VE, Stratford AL, Kwan PK, Sharma N, Dixon OM, Watkinson JC, Boelaert K, Franklyn JA, Turnell AS, McCabe CJ. The PTTG1-Binding Factor (PBF/PTTG1IP) regulates p53 activity in thyroid cells.   Endocrinology.  2014 Apr;155(4):1222-34

Lewy GD, Ryan GA, Read ML, Fong JCW, Seed RI, Sharma N, Smith VE, Kwan PP, Stewart SL, Warfield A, Melmed S,  Eggo MC, Franklyn JA, McCabe CJ, Boelaert K. Regulation of Pituitary Tumor Transforming Gene (PTTG) expression and phosphorylation in thyroid cells.  Endocrinology. 2013 Nov;154(11):4408-22.

Smith VE, Sharma N, Watkins RJ, Read ML, Ryan GA, Kwan PP, Martin A, Watkinson JC, Boelaert K, Franklyn JA, McCabe CJ. Manipulation of PBF/PTTG1IP phosphorylation status; a new therapeutic strategy for improving radioiodine uptake in thyroid and other tumors.  Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.2013 Jul;98(7):2876-86

Featured in News and Views in Nature Reviews Endocrinology. 9, 508-509 (September 2013)Smith VE, Read ML, Turnell AS, Sharma N, Lewy GD, Fong JCW, Seed RI, Kwan P, Ryan G, Mehanna H, Chan SY, Darras VM, Boelaert K, Franklyn JA, McCabe CJ. PTTG-binding factor (PBF) is a novel regulator of the thyroid hormone transporter MCT8.  Endocrinology. 2012 Jul;153(7):3526-36.

Research Highlight for Basic Research in Nature Reviews Endocrinology 8, 384 (July 2012)

Read ML, Lewy GD, Fong JC, Sharma N, Seed RI, Smith VE, Gentilin E, Warfield A, Eggo MC, Knauf JA, Leadbeater WE, Watkinson JC, Franklyn JA, Boelaert K, McCabe CJ. Proto-oncogene PBF/PTTG1IP regulates thyroid cell growth and represses radioiodide treatment.  Cancer Research. 2011 Oct 1;71(19):6153-64.

Smith VE, Franklyn JA, McCabe CJ. Expression and function of the novel proto-oncogene PBF in thyroid cancer - a new target for augmenting radioiodine uptake.  Journal of Endocrinology. 2011 Aug;210(2):157-63.

Smith VE, Franklyn JA, McCabe CJ. Pituitary tumor-transforming gene and its binding factor in endocrine cancer.  Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine. 2010 Dec 3;12:e38.

Watkins RJ, Read ML, Smith VE, Sharma N, Reynolds GM, Buckley L, Doig C, Campbell MJ, Lewy G, Eggo MC, Loubiere LS, Franklyn JA, Boelaert K, McCabe CJ. Pituitary tumor transforming gene binding factor: a new gene in breast cancer.  Cancer Research, 2010 May 1;70(9):3739-49.

Smith VE, Read ML, Turnell AS, Watkins RJ, Watkinson JC, Lewy GD, Fong JC, James SR, Eggo MC, Boelaert K, Franklyn JA, McCabe CJ. A novel mechanism of sodium iodide symporter repression in differentiated thyroid cancer.  Journal of Cell Science, 2009 Sep 15;122(Pt 18):3393-402.

James SR, Franklyn JA, Reaves BJ, Smith VE, Chan SY, Barrett TG, Kilby MD, McCabe CJ.  Monocarboxylate transporter 8 in neuronal cell growth.  Endocrinology. 2009 Apr;150(4):1961-9.

Smith VE*, Boelaert K*, Stratford AL, Kogai T, Tannahill LA, Watkinson JC, Eggo MC, Franklyn JA, McCabe CJ. *Joint First Author. PTTG and PBF repress the human sodium iodide symporter.  Oncogene. 2007 Jun 28;26(30):4344-56.

Aulchenko YS, Pullen J, Kloosterman WP, Yazdanpanah M, Hofman A, Vaessen N, Snijders PJLM, Mackay I, Olavesen M, Sidhu B, Smith VE, Carey A, Berezikov E, Uittenlinden AG, Plasterk RHA, Oostra BA, van Duijn CM. LPIN2 is associated with type 2 diabetes, glucose metabolism and body composition.  Diabetes. 2007 Dec;56(12):3020-6.

Kim DS, Franklyn JA, Smith VE, Stratford AL, Pemberton HN, Warfield A, Watkinson JC, Ishmail T, Wakelam MJ, McCabe CJ. Securin induces genetic instability in colorectal cancer by inhibiting double-stranded DNA repair activity.  Carcinogenesis. 2007. 28(3):749-59

Treloar SA, Wicks J, Nyholt DR, Montgomery GW, Bahlo M, Smith V, Dawson G, Mackay IJ, Weeks DE, Bennett ST, Carey A, Ewen-White KR, Duffy DL, O'connor DT, Barlow DH, Martin NG, Kennedy SH. Genomewide linkage study in 1,176 affected sister pair families identifies a significant susceptibility locus for endometriosis on chromosome 10q26.  American Journal of Human Genetics. 2005 Sep;77(3):365-76


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