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MRC Cancer Unit



Group Leader: Dr Jacqui Shields



Luisa Pedro

Research Associate

Luisa CDF Luisa studied to become an engineer in the Life Sciences field. Her undergrad and postgraduate studies were completed in the areas of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering, respectively. Both were accomplished in the sunny University of Algarve, Portugal.

In the Shields Lab, Luisa's main interest is to work in molecular targeting of tumours using nanoparticle approaches. Luisa’s projects focus on two major areas. Firstly to determine how lymph node stromal cells operate in tumour draining lymph nodes, and secondly to study the cross-talk between tumour and its stromal microenvironment in order to choose the best targeting strategy to promote tumour clearance.


Hafsa Munir

Research Associate

Matt CDF

Hafsa did her Bachelors degree in Medical Science at the University of Birmingham, UK. She then continued on to do a Masters in Research looking at the role of stem cells in repair and regeneration. Hafsa then went on to do a PhD in the same institute, focusing on how mesenchymal stem cells act as endogenous regulators of leukocyte recruitment during inflammation and how this process can be altered upon differentiation. After completing her PhD, Hafsa went on a short research exchange visit to Kyushu University, Japan where she studied the effects of foetal liver-derived peptide treatment on the proliferation and differentiation potential of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. 

Since joining the Shields Lab, Hafsa's research has been focused around understanding neutrophil function in tumourigenesis, and the crosstalk between Cancer-associated fibroblasts and neutrophils within the evolving tumour microenvironment.


James Jones

Academic Clinical Fellow


James completed his PhD on the University of Cambridge MB/PhD Programme, in Professor Douglas Fearon’s laboratory. Since 2018 James has been an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Medical Oncology and has been working with the Shields Lab. As well as clinical commitments, he has been investigating of the function of neutrophil extracellular traps in the tumour microenvironment. In particular, James is focusing on stromal function in the evolving microenvironment of early kidney cancer and how understanding these changes may be used for patient stratification.





Jake Cridge

PhD Candidate

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Jake works on a project focussing on the functional adaptions of stromal and immune populations in tumour-draining lymph nodes, and the subsequent consequences of these adaptions for the anti-tumour immune response. He combines in vivo models, imaging and in vitro functional assays to achieve his goals.


Carlo Zimarino

PhD Candidate

Carlo ZimarinoCarlo joined the lab having completed Masters in Milan, and working as a Research Associate at F-Star Biotechnology. Carlo’s PhD is centred on understanding how the developing tumour microenvironment disrupts myeloid cell function towards an immune suppressible phenotype, the signals driving dysfunction and whether we can perturb these to restore inflammatory behaviour





Corrado Mazzglia

PhD Candidate


Corrado’s project bridges cancer research and Engineering. Working jointly with Dr Shery Huang in the Department of Nanoscience and Engineering, he is developing a 3D microfluidic model of the lymph node to study mechanisms of lymph node transformation. This tractable system is optimized to be built on a microscope slide to enable visualisation of tissue remodelling in real time via live imaging platforms and therefore more comprehensively probe the mechanisms that contribute niche adaptation.



William Moody

PhD Candidate


Will completed his degree at the University of Cambridge, and joined the lab following a research placement. He is examining our hypothesis that tumour stroma composition impacts the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors with an aim to identify and stratify patients that are likely to respond, or not, early on.





Leonor Rodrigues

PhD Candidate


Leonor completed a Masters between Roswell Park Cancer Institute (USA) and CEDOC (Lisbon) before working as a Research Associate at F-Star Biotechnology. She joined the Shields lab in 2019 where she is investigating NK cell function during malignant transition, and how cross-talk with CAFs disrupts anti-tumour activity.