Academy Fellows

Dr Richard Fu

Dr Richard Fu Image


Richard is a Wellcome 4ward North Clinical PhD Fellow and specialty registrar in neurosurgery.
Originally from Singapore, he obtained his medical degree from the University of Bristol. After gaining membership to the Royal College of Surgeons of England he undertook a Master of Research (MRes) in Experimental Neuroscience from Imperial College London (2012-2013) graduating with distinction. He then commenced neurosurgery training in London, before moving to Manchester for integrated clinical-academic training as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Neurosurgery (2016-2019).

He is determined to help improve outcomes for brain cancer patients. In his PhD, he is studying how oscillatory gene expression dynamics might be responsible for driving cancer stem cell plasticity in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive form of adult primary brain cancer. This could potentially pave the way for the development of therapies that have the capacity to modulate critical cell state transitions (for example, preventing dormant GBM cancer stem cells from re-activating), therefore preventing fatal recurrence.

Key Collaborators 

PhD Supervisors: Prof Nancy Papalopulu (University of Manchester), Dr Heiko Wurdak (University of Leeds), Dr David Coope (Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre)

Collaborators: Prof Steven Pollard (University of Edinburgh), Prof Federico Roncaroli (Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre)

Specialty interest/techniques 

  • Neuro-oncology
  • Glioblastoma stem cells
  • CRISPR gene editing
  • Single-cell live imaging
  • Tumour organoids
  • Bioinformatics

Career Aspirations

This PhD will support my development as an academic neuro-oncology surgeon. I envisage dedicating my early post-doctoral career to researching therapies that could modulate stem cell state transitions in GBM, such as the maintenance of quiescence, and in so doing hopefully turning what is currently a terminal illness into a chronic manageable condition.

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