School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Dr Samantha Higgins

  • Qualifications: PhD
  • Role Title: Senior Research Associate
  • Address: St Michael's Building White Swan Road Portsmouth PO1 2DT
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2125
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I obtained a BSc in Pharmacology from the University of Hertfordshire which gave me a broad understanding of the study of drug actions on the body. I developed this knowledge further with the completion of an MSc in Biomedical Science from the University of Portsmouth, during which I first started working in the brain tumour research field.  My research project during this time involved looking at the effects of a group of antidepressants on brain tumour viability. I progressed further to do a PhD with Professor Geoff Pilkington (Portsmouth) funded by Ali’s Dream, Brainstrust and the Isle of Man Anticancer Association. The main focus of my research was investigating the potential of therapeutic targeting the NG2 protein on paediatric and adult brain tumour cells using a novel immunotoxin approach. Since completion of my PhD, I have been undertaking a three year post doctoral position at Portsmouth funded by Brain Tumour Research where my ongoing interests involve the cell surface proteins NG2 and GD3/GD3A on adult and paediatric glioma and subsequent immunoablation with Mab-Zap, an immunotoxin system based on the immunotoxin Saporin. I am also interested in the influence of serum supplementation on functional glioma cellular characteristics such as morphology, proliferation, invasion, adhesion, motility and protein expression, this also includes both 2D and 3D (spheroid) glioma cell growth.  More recently, I have been involved with the manipulation of the tumour micro-environment to influence the way in which cells make energy to survive and use this knowledge to improve tumour cell sensitivity to mitochondrially-acting pro-apoptotic agents such as tricyclic drugs. In myspare time I enjoy reading, cooking, gardening and spending time with friends and family. I also plan to re-visit a childhood interest in swimming in the not too distant future.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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