LMCB - Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology

Natasha Aley's picture

PhD student, Ketteler Lab


Europe PMC | PubMed | ORCID

Research synopsis

I am investigating the effects of ATG4B inhibition on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), with the aim of creating a novel ATG4B inhibitor for potential clinical use. Autophagy is a well-validated stress response pathway that supports survival of cancer cells during metabolic and anoxic stress. ATG4B is a cysteine protease with multiple lines of evidence suggesting a specific role in it modulating autophagy. It has been demonstrated that inhibition of ATG4B in a genetically engineered mouse model of PDAC results in reduced tumour growth. Therefore, we are working to validate ATG4B inhibition as a therapeutic option in PDAC and use our high-throughput screening facility to identify a novel ATG4B inhibitor for potential clinical use.

As part of the wider LMCB community I am a member of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee and the Public Relations committee. Furthermore, I also assist in some of UCL’s undergraduate teaching as a post-graduate teaching assistant.


2019 |  MSc Cancer, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Distinction, Queen Mary University of London
2017-19 |  Research Assistant, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Brandner Lab, University College London
2016 | BSc Forensic Biology (Molecular Biology), 1st Class, Nottingham Trent University
2014-15 | Research technician, Respiratory Sciences Biomedical Research Centre, Brightling Lab, University of Leicester


Pancreatic Cancer UK

Research themes

Signalling pathways
Membrane trafficking
Cancer biology


High throughput screening