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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am a molecular biologist working on how transcription factors regulate gene expression. This is achieved through a new technique that I developed while at UCD, based on the secreted Gaussia luciferase (Cavadas and Cheong, 2014). This new method, coupled with thermostatiscal analysis and mathematical modelling, has enabled my group to unravel the complex transcriptional crosstalks at the promoter level. I have recently applied this technique to describe crosstalks between the transcription factors HIF and NFkB during hypoxic inflammation (Bruning et al, 2012) and to construct a comprehensive mathematical model of signalling network of the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) (Nguyen, Cavadas et al, 2013).
Alex Cheong HIF model
Scheme used to construct a mathematical model of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway (Nguyen, Cavadas et al, JCS 2013).

The lab welcomes research collaborations and applications from students interested to study transcription factors. We are particularly interested in undergraduate students wishing to gain research experience (e.g. during a summer internship - studentships might be available) or postgraduate students on a research placements (e.g. ERASMUS).


PhD projects are available for Non-EU students on the following topics and are part funded by the Overseas Research Scholarship (competitive and by merit). The lab is interested in the transcriptional networks during cellular adaptation to hypoxia, with a focus on inflammatory diseases, cancer and ageing. The research will involve a combination of mathematical modelling and biological experimentation to advance our understanding of the regulatory pathways activated in hypoxia.

More information: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research/postgraduate-research/


PGCPP in Higher Education, Aston University, 2015
PhD in Pharmacology, University of Leeds, 2001
BSc in Pharmacology, University College London, 1997

Teaching Activity

Pharmacology PH2501
Professional studies PH1408 (Module coordinator), Pharmacology Ph2501, MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Programme director)


2010-2013 Junior Group Leader, Systems Biology Ireland, University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland
2006-2009 British Heart Foundation Intermediate Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK
2001-2005 Post doctoral researcher, University of Leeds, UK

Membership of Professional Bodies

Physiological Society
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) 

Contact Details

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Research Output

Acquisition of temporal HIF transcriptional activity using a secreted luciferase assay

Cavadas, M. A. S., Taylor, C. T. & Cheong, A., 13 Jan 2018, Methods in Molecular Biology. Humana Press, Vol. 1742. p. 37-44 8 p. (Methods in Molecular Biology; vol. 1742).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • The regulation of transcriptional repression in hypoxia

    Cavadas, M. A. S., Cheong, A. & Taylor, C. T., 20 Feb 2017, In : Experimental Cell Research. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Hydroxylases regulate intestinal fibrosis through the suppression of ERK mediated TGF-β1 signaling

    Manresa, M. C., Tambuwala, M. M., Rhadakrishnan, P., Harnoss, J. M., Brown, E., Cavadas, M. A., Keogh, C. E., Cheong, A., Barrett, K. E., Cummins, E. P., Schneider, M. & Taylor, C. T., 1 Dec 2016, In : Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 311, 6, p. G1076-G1090

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • REST is a hypoxia-responsive transcriptional repressor

    Cavadas, M. A. S., Mesnieres, M., Crifo, B., Manresa, M. C., Selfridge, A. C., Keogh, C. E., Fabian, Z., Scholz, C. C., Nolan, K. A., Rocha, L. M. A., Tambuwala, M. M., Brown, S., Wdowicz, A., Corbett, D., Murphy, K. J., Godson, C., Cummins, E. P., Taylor, C. T. & Cheong, A., 17 Aug 2016, In : Scientific Reports. 6, 13 p., 31355 .

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access