Dr Rachael Rigby
Office C17 / Lab C2/5
Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medicine
Tel: +44 1524 593420
Fax: +44 1524 593192
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the UK. Potential reasons why colon cancer is on the increase in the western world include changes in diet and in the types of bacteria residing in our gut. Microbes aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients and energy from food and guard against harmful bacteria. However, due to our present nutrient and energy rich diets, and clean lifestyles, changes in number or types of bacteria in our gut may be contributing to cancer.
The cells lining our intestine, epithelial cells (IEC) recognise bacteria through a group of transmembrane receptors termed Toll-like receptors (TLR). Engagement of TLR receptors by bacterial products activates signalling pathways within the cell leading to "inflammation" and division of epithelial cells, prerequisites to the development of cancer.
My research interests lie in mechanisms of repair and renewal of the intestinal epithelium. During diseases such as colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), epithelial repair homeostasis is disrupted. My research focuses on the interplay between luminal bacteria and the epithelium through a family of proteins termed suppressors of cytokine signalling (SOCS) which are important mediators of cancer and inflammation.
SOCS3 is silenced in many tumour types and influences growth of IEC. We are currently exploring factors which influence the expression of SOCS3 in IEC, focusing on the effects of bacteria and cytokines.
BIOL 243 Medical Microbiology: lecturer
BIOL 131 Introduction to Biomedical Science: lecturer
BIOL 444 Models of Disease: lecturer
Study Abroad Advisor for Biology
Special Study Module convenor on the Medicine MBChB degree
A new animal model of post-surgical inflammatory bowel disease and fibrosis: the effect of commensal microflora. Rigby RJ, Hunt MR, Scull BP, Simmons JG, Speck KE, Helmrath MA, Lund PK. Gut. 2009 Aug; 58(8):1104-12.
What are the Mechanisms of Fibrosis in Inflammatory bowel disease? P.K. Lund, Rachael J. Rigby. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2008 Sep 24;14 (S2):S127-S128
Bacterial-dependant up-regulation of intestinal bile acid binding protein and transport is FXR-mediated following ileo-cecal resection. Christopher M Dekaney, Douglas C von Allmen, Aaron P Garrison, Rachael J Rigby, P Kay Lund, Susan J Henning, Michael A Helmrath. Surgery. 2008 Aug ;144 (2):174-81
Suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (SOCS3) limits damage-induced crypt hyper-proliferation and inflammation-associated tumorigenesis in the colon. RJ Rigby, JG Simmons, CJ Greenhalgh, WS Alexander and PK Lund. Oncogene, 2007 Jul 19;26(33):4833-41
Expansion of intestinal stem cells associated with long-term adaptation following ileocecal resection in mice. Dekaney CM, Fong JJ, Rigby RJ, Lund PK, Henning SJ, Helmrath MA. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2007; Nov; 293(5):G1013-22.
SOC-ing it to tumors: Suppressors of Cytokine Signalling as Tumor Repressors. P.K. Lund, R.J. Rigby. Gastroenterology, 2006. Jul; 131 (1) 317-19.
Characteristics of intestinal dendritic cells in inflammatory bowel diseases. Ailsa L Hart, Hafid Omar Al-Hassi, Rachael J Rigby, Sally J Bell, Anton V Emmanuel, Stella C Knight, Michael A Kamm, Andrew J Stagg Gastroenterology. 2005 Jul ;129:50-65
Production of IL-10 and IL-12 by murine colonic dendritic cells in response to microbial stimuli. Rigby RJ, Knight SC, Kamm MA and Stagg AJ. Clin Exp. Immunol., 2005. Feb; 139:245-256