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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Flint is a Reader in Cancer Research at the University of Brighton. She is currently Co-leader of Brighton and Sussex Cancer Research Network and a member of the Cancer Translation Advisory Group Steering Committee and Theme leader for Cancer. Dr. Flint is also a member of the NCRI Symptom Management Working Group.


Dr. Flint trained in the Women’s Cancer Research Center, at the University of Pittsburgh cancer Institute and remains at adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh.


Her work on the effect of stress on cancer progression, chemotherapy and the immune system has been highlighted in the Making Research Matter and will likely results in changing treatment paradigms in patients with cancer.


How I like to teach

I currently teach Immunopharmacology, autoimmunity and I’m case leader for Breast Cancer. I prefer a more hands on practical approach to my teaching—this can be achieved though interactive lectures and workshops. Together with psychologist, Macmillan nurses, pharmacologists and pharmacists we will create interactive workshops to enhance student experiences.



Its very exciting to work on a (series) of projects that combine the expertise of laboratory based scientists with that of psycho-oncologists in an innovative area of research likely to produce tangible benefits for patients receiving cancer treatments. Valerie Jenkins, SHORE-C Sussex health Outcomes Research and Education group.

Research Interests

Currently, the focus of my laboratory is translational cancer research. Specifically, my research examines hormonal influences on cell cycle regulation and cancer. My primary research project involves the direct interplay between stress hormones (cortisol, noradrenaline) and the immune and cancer cells. This is accomplished through a mechanistic study of administration of stress hormones to cancerous cells, and observing these effects both in vitro, in vivo and human tissue sample models. The goal of my laboratory is to understand the mechanism through which behavioural stress impacts cancer progression.

PI Externally Funded Projects

Team Verrico  'Exploring polymorphisms in breast cancer'  June 2018-2017  £15,000.

CRUK 'A reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) monitoring system to study their role in cancer' Role: Co-Principal Investigator   Jan 2018-Jan 2020.

Breast Cancer Research Trust 'Stress hormones in BRCA mutation carriers increase susceptibility to the development of breast cancer' £49,997 Dec 2017-Dec 2018

Scholarly Biography

 I received my Ph.D. at Imperial College, London, UK. I moved to the United States and trained as a postdoctoral scientist at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV. It was there that I began a research track in the field of biobehavioral research. I became very interested in the power of stressful influences impacting disease outcome. At the time, I remained focused on the immune and inflammatory systems and the impact of stressful responses. My research interests began to include investigations into how psychosocial hormones influence the immune system and may impact cancer biology. Indeed, I was recruited to join the Behavioral Oncology team at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) as a Research Associate on the basis of my past experience in the field of stress and the immune system. During my tenure in this group, I worked on a number of projects related to how stress may impact the incidence and course of cancer, with a focus on the impact of stress and stress hormones on DNA damage and repair. In 2007, I was promoted to Research Instructor in the Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology. I began to apply my molecular and cell biology expertise to complement my breast cancer research, especially with the validation and implementation of cancer biomarkers. I became a Research Assistant Professor in 2012, where I trained in breast and ovarian cancer at the Womens cancer Research center, Pittsburgh. I am currently a Senior lecturer and leader of a stress and breast cancer program at the University of Brighton.

PhD Students

Marta Falcinelli Oct 2016-Oct 2019

Haya Intablis Jan 2016-Dec 2019

Maysa Maysa Al-Natsheh Jan 2017-Jan 2020

Gheed Alhity Jan 2019-Dec 2021

Post Doctoral Scientists (as of 2018)

Dr Aya Abdullah

Dr Renee Flaherty

Dr Caroline Garrett

Dr Will Jones







Supervisory Interests

I currently lead a dynamic Cancer Stress Team consisting of PhD students, medical students, masters students and post docs. We study the effects of stress hormones on cell signaling, drug resistance and immunity in breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.  My passion is mentoring students with a strong interest in becoming cancer researchers. We welcome driven, enthusiastic members to our team!

External positions

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

1 Jan 2013 → …


  • RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
  • stress, glucocorticoids, immune, drug resistance

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Research Output

Poly(lactic) acid/carbon nanotube composite microneedle arrays for dermal biosensing

Skaria, E., Patel, B., Flint, M. & Ng, K. W., 14 Mar 2019, In : Analtical Chemistry. 91, 7, p. 4436-4443 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Stress and drug resistance in cancer

    Flaherty, R., Falcinelli, M. & Flint, M., 27 Jun 2019, In : Cancer Drug resistance. 2

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Stress hormone-mediated acceleration of breast cancer metastasis is halted by inhibition of nitric oxide synthase

    Flaherty, R. L., Intabli, H., Falcinelli, M., Bucca, G., Hesketh, A., Patel, B., Allen, M., Smith, C. & Flint, M., 24 May 2019, In : Cancer Letters. 459, p. 59-71 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Reliability of a wearable sweat rate monitor and routine sweat analysis techniques under heat stress in females

    Relf, R., Willmott, A., Flint, M., Beale, L. & Maxwell, N., 18 Dec 2018, In : Journal of Thermal Biology. 79, p. 209-217

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Glucocorticoids induce ROS/RNS production and DNA damage through an iNOS mediated pathway in breast cancer

    Flaherty, R. L., Owen, M., Fagan-Murphy, A., Intabli, H., Healy, D., Patel, A., Allen, M., Patel, B. & Flint, M., 24 Mar 2017, In : Breast Cancer Research. 19

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Activities

    • 1 Research degree

    Heat sensitivity and alleviating strategies for female breast cancer survivors

    Neil Maxwell (Supervisor), Melaine Flint (Supervisor), Louisa Beale (Supervisor)
    2016 → …

    Activity: External examination and supervisionResearch degree