Cleo Bishop

Cleo Bishop

Senior Lecturer

Recent and ongoing research projects:

Advanced age is the main risk factor for most chronic diseases in humans, but the basic machinery that drives ageing remains largely unknown. With the exception of pluripotent embryonic stem cells, primary cells in vitro and in vivo gradually lose the ability to divide. One of the key effectors of this process is p16, a master regulator of the cell cycle whose expression results in cellular senescence. The gradual accumulation of p16 expression during physiological ageing and several ageing-associated diseases promotes p16 as a robust biomarker of human ageing. Its locus, the INK/ARF locus, is intimately involved in the susceptibility to a broad range of ageing-associated diseases, including coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes. Targeting cellular senescence represents an exciting strategy for promoting healthy ageing.

The regulated cell proliferation that is essential for human longevity contrasts with the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. During early tumourigenesis, cells harbouring precancerous lesions often respond by activating tumour suppressors, such as p16, and entering a premature cell cycle arrest called oncogene-induced senescence. The establishment of this growth arrest relies on the timely activation of p16, a virtual hallmark of early stage neoplasia, and acts as a vital barrier to cancer progression. By illuminating the fundamental mechanisms that regulate senescence programmes we will further our understanding of how cells sense early carcinogenic events, and the interplay between cancer progression, healthy ageing and cellular rejuvenation.


Cellular senescence, oncogene-induced senescence, cancer, ageing, cellular rejuvenation,pro-senescence therapy for cancer, p16, INK/ARF, miRNAs, exosomes.


Cleo received a PhD in Biological Sciences in 2001 from University College London. She then spent four years as a Career Development Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Chris Higgins at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London, where she developed a keen interest in cancer biology. In 2006, she moved to the Blizard Institute to pursue this, spending four years in Prof. David Beach’s group. During this time, she established our High-Throughput Screening facility, managed by Dr Luke Gammon, and has used this technology to discover novel regulators of the tumour suppressor p16.

In 2010, Cleo was awarded a Lecturership and continues her research into the regulation of the p16 and its role in senescence, cancer and ageing.


Group Members

Dr Madeleine Moore

Miss Eleanor Tyler, PhD Student

Miss Deborah Milligan, PhD Student

Mr Ryan Wallis, PhD Student



Dr Paul Braker

Daniel Yee

Arturo Robles





Key Publications

Low stress ion conductance microscopy of subcellular stiffness

R Clarke, P Novak, A Zhukov, EJ Tyler, M Cano-Jaimez, A Drews, O Richards, K Volynski, CL Bishop and D Klenerman

In press


The Senescent Methylome and its relationship with cancer, ageing, and germline genetic variation in humans

R Lowe, MG Overhoff, DH Beach, VK Rakyan and CL Bishop (2015)

Genome Biology 16:194.


Cellular senescence mediated by p16INK4A-coupled miRNA pathways

MG Overhoff, JC Garbe, J Koh, MR Stampfer, DH Beach and CL Bishop (2014)

Nucleic Acids Research 42(3):1606-18.


Primary cilium dependent and independent Hedgehog signaling inhibits p16INK4A

CL Bishop, AH Bergin, D Fessart, V Borgdorff, E Hatzimasoura, JC Garbe, MR Stampfer, J Koh and DH Beach (2010)

Molecular Cell 40(4):533-47.


Multiple microRNAs rescue from Ras-induced senescence by inhibiting p21(Waf1/Cip1)

V Borgdorff, ME Lleonart, CL Bishop, D Fessart, AH Bergin, MG Overhoff and DH Beach (2010)

Oncogene 29(15):2262-71.



Other publications


Isogenic Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines from an Adult with Mosaic Down Syndrome Model Accelerated neuronal Ageing and Neurodegeneration

A Murray, A Letourneau, C Canzonetta, E Stathaki, S Gimelli, F Sloan-Bena, R Abrehart, P Goh, S Lim, C Baldo, M Mortensen, D Ballard, D Syndercombe Court, N Fusaki, M Hasegawa, TG Smart, CL Bishop, SE Antonarakis, J Groet and D Nizetic (2015)

Stem Cells 33(6):2077-84.


Low Serum Levels of MicroRNA-19 Are Associated with a Stricturing Crohn’s Disease Phenotype A Lewis, S Mehta, LN Hanna, LA Rogalski, R Jeffery, A Nijhuis, T Kumagai, P Biancheri, JG Bundy, CL Bishop, R Feakins, A Di Sabatino, JC Lee, JO Lindsay and A Silver (2015)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease 21(8):1926-34.


Expression of the miR-29 family is reduced in Crohn’s disease fibrosis and suppresses collagen expression in intestinal fibroblasts

A Nijhuis, P Biancheri, A Lewis, CL Bishop, P Giuffrida, C Chan, R Feakins, R Poulsom, A Di Sabatino, GR Corazza, TT MacDonald, JO Lindsay and A Silver (2014)

Clinical Sciences (Lond). 127(5):341-50.


A whole genome screen for HIV restriction factors

L Liu, NM Oliveira, KM Cheney, C Pade, H Dreja, AM Bergin, V Borgdorff, DH Beach, CL Bishop, MT Dittmar and A McKnight (2011)

Retrovirology 14;8:94.


View all Cleo Bishop's Research Publications at:




Course Lecturer: BIO111 Cell Biology

Course Lecturer: BIO115 The Human Cell

MBBS –Problem Based Learning




Module Lead: ICM7141 Cell and Molecular Basis of Regeneration, MSc Regenerative Medicine

Course Lecturer: ICM7142 Stem cell and developmental biology, MSc Regenerative Medicine

Course Lecturer: Research Techniques


Personal tutor, MSc Regenerative Medicine

Further information

Academic Lead for the QMUL High-throughput Screening Facility


Centre for Cell Biology & Cutaneous Research
Blizard Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Blizard Building
4 Newark Street
E1 2AT

+44 (0)20 7882 2344
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