Jane Alder

Dr. Jane Alder

Principal Lecturer in Pharmacology

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Maudland Building, MB241

+44 (0) 1772 89 3915


Subject Areas: Physiology and Pharmacology

Full Profile

Since taking up her position as lecturer in pharmacology at UCLan in Autumn 2009 Jane have been developing a teaching programme in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics concurrently with her research interests in Bioanalysis and the use of in vitro models for toxicity screening. She has done so in collaboration with members of the Brain Tumour North West Research Group based in the Preston Royal Hospital, University of Wolverhampton and the University of Liverpool. Jane is also a fellow of the Higher Education Authority.



  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Central Lancashire


  • AstraZeneca Case Award PhD in Clinical Biochemistry
    UMIST, Department of Instrumentation and Analytical Science

Applications of Near Infrared Spectrophotometry in Experimental and Clinical Models: A Study of Vascular and Cellular Oxygenation in Cerebral, Hepatic and Tumour Tissue (Supervisor: Dr M Thorniley with Prof I Wilson)


  • University of Manchester
    BSc(Hons) Biochemistry, Final Year Project: Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research


Ashmore J, Pickett J, Alder J, Marks R, Thorniley M. (2012) Whole body oxygen delivery and consumption during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. Advances in Experimental and Medicinal Biology. 737:229-34.

Lappin G, Shishikura Y, Jochemsen R, Weaver RJ, Gesson C, Houston JB, Oosterhuis B, Bjerum OJ, Grynkiewicz G, Alder JE, Rowland M and Garner C. (2011) Comparative pharmacokinetics between a microdose and therapeutic dose for clarithromycin, sumatripan, propafenone, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and phenobarbital in human volunteers. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Science. 43(3):141-50

Newman, William G, Payne, Katherine, Tricker, Karen, Roberts, Stephen A, Fargher, Emily, Pushpakom, Sudeep, Alder, Jane E, Sidgwick, Gary P, Payne, Debbie, Elliott, Rachel A, Heise, Marco, Elles, Robert, Ramsden, Simon C, Andrews, Julie, Houston, J Brian, Qasim, Faeiza, Shaffer, Jon, Griffiths, Christopher EM, Ray, David W, Bruce, Ian and Ollier, William ER (2011) A pragmatic randomized controlled trial of thiopurine methyltransferase genotyping prior to azathioprine treatment: the TARGET study. Pharmacogenomics, 12 (6). pp. 815-826. ISSN 1462-2416

Baxter, Melissa A., Rowe, Cliff, Alder, Jane, Harrison, Sean, Hanley, Karen Piper, Park, B. Kevin, Kitteringham, Neil R., Goldring, Chris E. and Hanley, Neil A. (2010) Generating hepatic cell lineages from pluripotent stem cells for drug toxicity screening. Stem Cell Research, 5 (1). pp. 4-22. ISSN 1873-5061

More publications


Identification of biomarkers in cerebral spinal fluid

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contains a range of molecules needed for the maintenance of normal brain function. In the presence of diseases within the brain or spinal cord, such as brain tumours (glioma), the composition of CSF can alter. This can be due to responses from the body to disease or by the production and secretion of substances by the disease state.

Analysis of the components within CSF, or detection of a change in abundance of certain molecules can provide important information for diagnosis, prognosis, and prediction of response to treatment and risk of recurrence. Molecules used in this way are known as biomarkers and as of yet, there are no CSF biomarkers in clinical use for glioma patients and research into this field is lacking.

The aim of this research is to analyse CSF, blood and serum samples from glioma patients and identify a panel of biomarkers with the potential for clinical use to obtain information related to glioma progression. There are biological differences between adult and paediatric gliomas therefore the focus of the research will be to determine if it is possible to identify and distinguish differences in biomarkers present in paediatric CSF and adult CSF in glioma patients compared to healthy age-matched controls.

Development of an in vitro blood-brain-barrier model

As yet there is a clear and currently unmet need for development of an in vitro model that emulates brain tumours as they exist in vivo. The in vitro model required must reflect the complex heterogeneity of the CNS tumour microenvironment and the blood brain barrier (BBB) for better prediction of the in vivo phenotype.

Prediction of the activity of drug metabolising enzymes and transporters at the BBB could provide valuable insight as to how patients are likely to respond to chemotherapy, allowing early identification of chemoresistant patients thus permitting chemotherapy to be changed accordingly.

In addition, there is a need to improve knowledge of the biology of transporters in primary and secondary CNS tumours and metastases, associated with drug delivery to the target site.

The aim of this research is to fully characterise drug metabolising enzyme and transporter expression and activity levels using primary cells from brain tumour patients co-cultured in a physiologically relevant three-dimensional scaffold. The ability to use in vitro drug enzyme and transporter activity measurements to predict response to treatment will be assessed by correlation to patient response to chemotherapy.

Pharmacokinetic stability of aptamers

Aptamers are short single stranded oligonucleotides which adopt stable three dimensional sequence dependent structures enabling specific binding to targets.

These aptamers can be raised against a target utilising SELEX, an evolutionary selection process that isolates high affinity aptamers from a pool of 1014 to 1015 oligonucleotide sequences.

Aptamers have been proposed as a means of selectively identifying cancerous cells. Eight novel aptamers selective for the grade IV glioma cell line U87MG (but not the non-cancerous foetal astrocyte cell line SVGp12) have been isolated, purified and sequenced.

The aim of the research is to assess the pharmacokinetic profile of these aptamers and optimise stability prior to determining their clinical utility in in vivo studies.



MPharm Pharmacy
BSc Biomedical Sciences
BSc Physiology and Pharmacology
MSc Biomedical Science


Year 1

PJ1200- Physiological, Cellular and biochemical Basis of Pharmacology (module tutor)
PJ1201- Systems Pharmacology I
BL1214- Supplementary Physiology and Pharmacology (module tutor)

Year 2

PJ2200- Systems Pharmacology II

Year 3

PJ3200- Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics
BL3211- Clinical Biochemistry
BL3998/9- Research Project
PJ3999/9- Research Project

Year 4

BL4203- Biomedical Ethics
BL4224- Laboratory Based Research Techniques
BL4207- Research project
PJ4200- Cancer Management and Therapy



Research Associate in Bioanalysis, Centre for Drug Safety Science, The University of Liverpool

Stem Cells for Safer Medicines: Hepatocyte Phenotype Project (Dr C Goldring, Prof K Park)

Research Associate in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Centre for Applied Pharmacokinetics, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester

In vitro drug metabolism research for the European Union Microdose Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Program (EUMAPP) (Prof B Houston)

Research Associate in Analytical Biochemistry, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester

Principal analytical biochemist for the DoH funded TARGET Pharmacogenetics Project (Dr J Andrews, Prof W Ollier)

Development of an assay for therapeutic monitoring of patients receiving methotrexate (Dr J Andrews, Dr R Warren)

Jane is particularly interested in establishing an in vitro model for studying glioblastoma progression and response to treatment, firstly using human glioblastoma cell lines and then progressing to use of primary tissue obtained from patients undergoing brain tumour resection surgery. The overarching aim is to produce an in vitro system which mimics the physiological properties of the tumour microenvironment, so that metabolism and toxicity profiles of potential therapeutic compounds can be assessed.


Research at UCLan into brain tumours may improve diagnosis and help develop personalised treatments for patients. Funding for a PhD student to undertake this research has been donated by the charity Inbetweenears.