Dr Imran Ahmad - Models of Advanced Prostate Cancer

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Urology, University of Glasgow

Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist


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Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality in men in the western world. Identifying and understanding the pathways that drive advanced and treatment-resistant prostate cancer will provide important information that will allow prognostication and individualised patient treatments.

Androgens have been found to be important for prostate cancer progression and androgen deprivation therapy is usually effective at initially controlling the disease. In many cases, however, there is a recurrent castration-resistant phase, for which there is no effective treatment.

My current research interest is in understanding the mechanisms of treatment-resistance in advanced prostate cancer. Work in my laboratory uses state-of-the-art in vivo models in conjunction with patient samples to interrogate the disease processes in advanced and treatment-resistant prostate cancer. This work will help to provide information on drivers of prostate cancer progression and to identify novel biomarkers of disease and/or drug targets to treat the disease.

As an Honorary Consultant Urological and Robotic Surgeon based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, I currently perform robotic surgery for localised/locally advanced prostate cancer.

Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers awardee

Dr Imran Ahmad explains how a Starter Grant from the Academy of Medical Sciences allowed him to continue his research following his PhD. Click here to read the interview.                    

Lab Report

icon Ahmad Lab Report

Key Publications

Ahmad I, Patel R, Singh LB, Nixon C, Seywright M, Barnetson RJ, Muller WJ, Edwards J, Sansom OJ, Leung HY. HER2 overcomes PTEN (loss) induced Senescence to cause Aggressive Prostate Cancer. PNAS. 2011; 208: 16392-97.


Education and qualifications

2015: FEBU, European Board of Urology
2014: FRCS (Urol), Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng)
2010: PhD in Bladder Cancer Biology, 'The role of Wnt Signalling in Urothelial Cell Carcinoma', CRUK Beatson Institute/University of Glasgow
2005: MRCS, RCSEng
2003: MB ChB, University of Glasgow
2001: BSc (MedSci) Hons in Anatomical Sciences (Class 1:1), University of Glasgow


2016: CRUK Clinician Scientist and Senior Clinical Lecturer in Uro-Oncology, University of Glasgow
2016: Honorary Consultant Urological & Robotic Surgeon, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
2015: Robotic Uro-Oncology Fellow, University College Hospital London
2011-2015: Higher Surgical Trainee (Urology), West of Scotland Deanery
2011-2015: Clinical Lecturer in Urology, University of Glasgow
2007-2011: Clinical Training Fellow, CRUK Beatson Institute/University of Glasgow
2006-2007: Senior House Officer, Urology, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow
2004-2006: Basic Surgical Trainee (General Surgery, Orthopaedics & Trauma, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Urology), West of Scotland Deanery
2003-2004: Pre-Registration House Officer (General Surgery/General Medicine), Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow

Honours and awards

ARTP Award 2014 (L'Association pour la Recherche sur les Tumeurs de la Prostate), 2014
Thomas and Margaret Smellie Prize (Best PhD thesis by a medical graduate), University of Glasgow, 2013
Hunterian Professorship, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2013
EAU Prostate Cancer Research Award, 2013
The Royal Medico-Chirurgical Society of Glasgow Prize, 2012
Sir James Black Medal, Scottish Society of Experimental Medicine, 2011

Recent Publications


Catto JWF, Khetrapal P, Ricciardi F, Ambler G, Williams NR, Al-Hammouri T, Khan MS, Thurairaja R, Nair R, Feber A, Dixon S, Nathan S, Briggs T, Sridhar A, Ahmad I, Bhatt J, Charlesworth P, Blick C, Cumberbatch MG, Hussain SA, Kotwal S, Koupparis A, McGrath J, Noon AP, Rowe E, Vasdev N, Hanchanale V, Hagan D, Brew-Graves C, Kelly JD. Effect of Robot-Assisted Radical Cystectomy With Intracorporeal Urinary Diversion vs Open Radical Cystectomy on 90-Day Morbidity and Mortality Among Patients With Bladder Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Jama. 2022;327:2092-2103.

Dinneen E, Allen C, Strange T, Heffernan-Ho D, Banjeglav J, Lindsay J, Mulligan J-P, Briggs T, Nathan S, Sridhar A, Grierson J, Haider A, Panayi C, Patel D, Freeman A, Aning J, Persad R, Ahmad I, Dutto L, Oakley N, Ambrosi A, Parry T, Kasivisvanathan V, Giganti F, Shaw G, Punwani S. Negative mpMRI Rules Out Extra-Prostatic Extension in Prostate Cancer before Robot-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy. Diagnostics. 2022;12:1057.


Galbraith LCA, Mui E, Nixon C, Hedley A, Strachan D, MacKay G, Sumpton D, Sansom OJ, Leung HY, Ahmad I. PPAR-gamma induced AKT3 expression increases levels of mitochondrial biogenesis driving prostate cancer. Oncogene. 2021;40:2355-2366.

Ntala C, Salji M, Salmond J, Officer L, Teodosio AV, Blomme A, McGhee EJ, Powley I, Ahmad I, Kruithof-de Julio M, Thalmann G, Roberts E, Goodyear CS, Jamaspishvili T, Berman DM, Carlin LM, Le Quesne J, Leung HY. Analysis of Prostate Cancer Tumor Microenvironment Identifies Reduced Stromal CD4 Effector T-cell Infiltration in Tumors with Pelvic Nodal Metastasis. Eur Urol Open Sci. 2021;29:19-29.

Tan WS, Arianayagam R, Khetrapal P, Rowe E, Kearley S, Mahrous A, Pal R, Fowler W, Heer R, Elajnaf M, Douglas-Moore J, Leyshon Griffiths TR, Voss J, Wilby D, Kadhi OA, Noel J, Vasdev N, McKay A, Ahmad I, Abu-Nayla I, et al. Major Urological Cancer Surgery for Patients is Safe and Surgical Training Should Be Encouraged During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multicentre Analysis of 30-day Outcomes. Eur Urol Open Sci. 2021;25:39-43

Hartley A, Leung HY, Ahmad I. Targeting the BAF complex in advanced prostate cancer. Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery. 2021;16:173-181.


Loveridge CJ, Slater S, Campbell KJ, Nam NA, Knight J, Ahmad I, Hedley A, Lilla S, Repiscak P, Patel R, Salji M, Fleming J, Mitchell L, Nixon C, Strathdee D, Neilson M, Ntala C, Bryson S, Zanivan S, Edwards J, Robson CN, Goodyear CS, Blyth K, Leung HY. BRF1 accelerates prostate tumourigenesis and perturbs immune infiltration. Oncogene. 2020; 39:17971806

Mevel R, Steiner I, Mason S, Galbraith LCA, Patel R, Fadlullah MZH, Ahmad I, Leung HY, Oliveira P, Blyth K, Baena E, Lacaud G. RUNX1 marks a luminal castration resistant lineage established at the onset of prostate development. eLife. 2020;9:e60225.

Patel R, Brzezinska EA, Repiscak P, Ahmad I, Mui E, Gao M, Blomme A, Harle V, Tan EH, Malviya G, Mrowinska A, Loveridge CJ, Rushworth LK, Edwards J, Ntala C, Nixon C, Hedley A, Mackay G, Tardito S, Sansom OJ, Leung HY. Activation of beta-catenin cooperates with loss of Pten to drive AR-independent castration-resistant prostate cancer. Cancer research. 2020; 80: 576-590


Patel R, Fleming J, Mui E, Loveridge C, Repiscak P, Blomme A, Harle V, Salji M, Ahmad I, Teo K, Hamdy FC, Hedley A, van den Broek N, Mackay G, Edwards J, et al. Sprouty2 loss-induced IL6 drives castration-resistant prostate cancer through scavenger receptor B1. EMBO Mol Med 2018; 10: e8347

Ahmad I, Sansom OJ. Role of Wnt signalling in advanced prostate cancer. J Pathol 2018; 245: 3-5

Galbraith L, Leung HY, Ahmad I. Lipid pathway deregulation in advanced prostate cancer. Pharmacol Res 2018; 131: 177-84


Loveridge, CJ, Mui EJ, Patel R, Tan EH, Ahmad I, Welsh M, Galbraith J, Hedley A, Nixon C, Blyth K, Sansom O, Leung HY. Increased T cell infiltration elicited by Erk5 deletion in a Pten-deficient mouse model of prostate carcinogenesis. Canc Res 2017; 77: 3158–68

Loveridge, CJ, van't Hof RJ, Charlesworth G, King A, Tan EH, Rose L, Daroszewska A, Prior A, Ahmad I, Welsh M, Mui EJ, Ford C, Salji M, Sansom O, Blyth K, Leung HY.  Analysis of Nkx3.1:Cre-driven Erk5 deletion reveals a profound spinal deformity which is linked to increased osteoclast activity. Sci Rep 2017; 7: 1324

Salji, M, Hendry, J, Patel, A, Ahmad, I, Nixon, C and Leung, HY.  Peri-prostatic fat volume measurement as a predictive tool for castration resistance in advanced prostate cancer. Eur Urol Focus. 2017; 4: 858–866

Tan WS, Lamb BW, Tan MY, Ahmad I, Sridhar A, Nathan S, Hines J, Shaw G, Briggs TP, Kelly JD.  In-depth analysis of complications following Robot-assisted radical cystectomy with intracorporeal urinary diversion. Eur Urol Focus. 2017; 3: 273–9


Ahmad I, Mui E, Galbraith L, Patel R, Tan EH, Salji M, Rust AG, Repiscak P, Hedley A, Markert E, Loveridge C, van der Weyden L, Edwards J, Sansom OJ, Adams DJ, Leung HY. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2016; 113: 8290-5

Lab Members

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Postdoctoral Scientist

Richa Vasan

PhD Student

Andy Hartley


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Read more about the Research Groups working at the Beatson Institute.



Seminars 2021

Find out more about our seminars including our Distinguished Seminar Programme.