Dr Sharron Vass is a lecturer of Biomedical Sciences in the School of Applied Sciences, at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, UK.
In 2005, Dr Vass completed her Ph.D. studies in the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, under the direction of Professor Margarete Heck. Her project involved investigating the molecular ‘glue’ that holds chromosomes together and what happens to chromosome structure when that glue is absent. Through this project she developed a keen interest in cell biology and a passion for fluorescence microscopy.
Dr Vass then undertook post-doctoral research at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, where she was involved in the study of a metalloproteinase enzyme called Invadolysin. She discovered that when the Invadolysin enzyme was ‘silenced’ in zebrafish embryos there were defects in essential cell migration processes, such as formation of blood vessels and the migration of specialised cells called neuromasts and melanophores.
Dr Vass obtained a lectureship at Edinburgh Napier University in 2014, where she established her own research group focusing on the molecular pathways regulating cell migration in cancer cells. She uses highly migratory melanoma cells and human choriocarcinoma cells as model systems, and is particularly interested in the KISS1 / KISS1R signalling cascade.