Sacha Howell

Sacha Howell, PhD FRCP


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Personal profile


Translational research into mechanisms of action and resistance of endocrine therapies, both in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer (University of Manchester)

Treatment of patients with early and advanced breat cancer at The Christie and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trusts.


I graduated from The University of Nottingham Medical School in 1993 and completed basic training in medicine in Derby. I began specialist training in Medical Oncology in 1999 at The Christie Hospital and was awarded CCT in 2006. In the same year I was awarded my PhD from the University of Manchester, performed in the laboratory of Dr Robert Clarke, defining a previously unidentified role for prolactin signaling in breast cancer stem/progenitor cell regulation. Following a period as a senior clinical research fellow I was appointed as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at The University of Manchester in October 2010. I am an honorary consultant in medical oncology at The Christie and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trusts. I lead the breast cancer risk prediction and prevention service at MFT and am a senior consultant at The Christie with expertise in the management patients at all stages of their cancer journey. 

Research interests

My major research interests have focussed on endocrine therapy in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. I have developed a platform for the study of preventive approaches through serial breast biopsies and imaging in women at increased risk. Through this approach we are making significant progress in understanding the mechanisms of action and indeed resistance to existing and novel breast cancer preventive approaches. We have conducted several investigator led studies and through close collaboration with basic scientists in The Manchester Breast Centre are beginning to understand the mechanisms by which mammographic density induces cellular transformation.  


I teach regularly on several university courses to doctors, medical students and allied health professionals .

I lead the Clinical Masterclass module of the MRes in Oncology for the Univeristy of Manchester and am Tutor for Personal and Professional Development for phase 1 medical students.

I supervise and co-supervise multiple PhD and MRes students.  

My collaborations

Division of Cancer Sciences

Professor Robert Clarke, Chair and Group Leader of the Breat Biology Group and Director of The Manchester Breast Centre 

Dr Andrew Gilmore, Senior Lecturer (matrix/epithelial interactions)

Dr Joe Swift, Lecturer (proteomics)

Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Sciences

Professor Sue Astley, Artificial intelligence and mammographic density

Divison of Cell Matrix, Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Dr Michael P Sherratt (tissue composition and structure)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Member of The Association of Cancer Physicians, British Breast Group, American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians

Methodological knowledge

Clinical trial design and conduct.

Steroid receptor signalling


B. Med. Sci., BM BS, MSc Oncology, PhD Oncology, FRCP

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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