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Dr Rosemary Bass

Dr Rosemary Bass is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences who joined Northumbria University in 2011.  Her degrees in Biochemistry were obtained from the Universities of Liverpool (BSc Hons), Manchester (MSc) and Kent (PhD).  Her PhD on the redox environment of the endoplasmic reticulum was completed in the laboratory of Professor Robert Freedman.  

Rosemary held post-doctoral positions in Cambridge, London and Norwich.  She was at the University of East Anglia in Norwich for 10 years, latterly as a BHF research fellow. During this time she established herself as an independent investigator, focussing on the non-inhibitory serpin maspin in cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Maspin influences cell behaviour in ways that are consistent with its originally identification as a tumour metastasis suppressor.  It inhibits mammalian cell migration, proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis, and promotes cell adhesion and apoptosis.  How maspin functions is of interest as although it is a member of the serpin (serine protease inhibitor) family, it does not have protease inhibitory activity. Rosemary’s research broadly aims to determine how extracellular maspin modifies cell function.  This includes starting to determine how maspin functionally interacts with beta1 integrins on the cell surface, and the identification of the G-helix of maspin as essential and sufficient for mediating effects on cell migration.

Research Grant Funding

'Dissecting the functional domains of the serpin maspin and how they impact on vascular smooth muscle cell behaviour', £105,314, 2 years to February 2015, British Heart Foundation, R Bass PI.

'The role of protein disulphide isomerase P5 interactions with maspin and integrins in prostate cancer', £48,520, 1 year to October 2013, JGWP Foundation, R Bass PI.

'Maspin contributes to breast cancer by regulating Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal-Transition', £18,987, 1 year to August 2012, Breast Cancer Campaign pilot grant, R Bass PI.

'Regulation of Vascular Cell Behaviour by Maspin, a Non-Inhibitory Serpin', £147,275, 3 years to December 2008, British Heart Foundation Intermediate Research Fellowship, R Bass joint applicant.

'Maspin in Prostate Cancer, the Regulation and Mechanism of Action of this Non-Inhibitory Serpin', £48,787, 1 year, 2008, Big C Appeal, R Bass PI.

'Maspin in Prostate Cancer, how does it Control Cell Migration and Adhesion?', £1700, 8 week summer studentship 2008, Big C Appeal, R Bass Co-applicants.

'The Role of Maspin, a Non-Inhibitory Serpin, in Prostate Cancer', £40,581, 1 year, 2007, Big C Appeal, R Bass PI.

'The Cellular Roles of the Non-Inhibitory Serpin Maspin', £59,448, 3.5 years to March 2010, BBSRC DTA studentship, R Bass Co-applicant.


Kazmi N, Hossain MA, Phillips RM, Al-Mamun MA & Bass R. (2012). Avascular tumour growth dynamics and the constraints of protein binding for drug transportation. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 313C:142 – 152 epub

Roy S, Bingle L, Marshall JF, Bass R, Ellis V, Speight PM & Whawell SA. (2011) The role of alpha 9 beta 1 in modulating epithelial cell behaviour. Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine 40(10), 755 - 61.

Ravenhill L, Wagstaff L, Edwards DR, Ellis V & Bass R. (2010) The G-helix of maspin mediates effects on cell migration and adhesion. Journal of Biological Chemistry 285(47), 36285 - 92.

Bass R & Edwards DR. (2010) ADAMs and PDI: The key to regulated cell surface protein ectodomain shedding?  Biochemical Journal 428(3), e3-e5.

Bass R, Wagstaff L, Ravenhill L & Ellis V. (2009) Binding of extracellular maspin to beta1 integrins inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell migration. Journal of Biological Chemistry 284(40), 27712-20.

Bass R & Ellis V. (2009) Regulation of the urokinase receptor (uPAR) by alpha5beta1 integrin. Thrombosis & Haemostasis 101(5), 954-962.

Qiu D, Owen K, Gray K, Bass R & Ellis V (2007) Roles and regulation of membrane-associated serine proteases. Biochemical Society Transactions 35(3), 583 – 7.

Kilpatrick LM, Harris RL, Owen KA, Bass R, Ghorayeb C, Bar-Or A & Ellis V. (2006) Initiation of plasminogen activation on the surface of monocytes expressing the type-II transmembrane serine protease matriptase. Blood 108 (8), 2616-23.

For a full list of publications, please click here.