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Prof Eric Parkinson

Eric Parkinson

Professor of Head & Neck Cancer

Dental Institute
School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London
07854 046536



I have 40 years of experience in rodent and human keratinocyte culture and have a large cell line panel representing all the stages of oral cancer with matched cancer-associated fibroblasts. The keratinocytes are extensively characterised for driver mutations, gene copy number alterations and transcriptomics. We have published extensively on this and reviewed some of it in Nature Reviews in Cancer. In addition, I have extensive experience in myoblast, adipocyte and atsrocyte culture and the field of cellualr senescence.

Publications of specific relevance to Predictive in vitro Models



Houacine S, Kang A, Parkinson EK, Wan H and Fortune F (2020). Induction of p53 in keratinocyte cultures treated with Behçet's patient sera. Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine  vol. 49, (5) 435-442. 10.1111/jop.13005


Lai SL, Tan ML, Hollows RJ, Robinson M, Ibrahim M, Margielewska S, Parkinson EK, Ramanathan A, Zain RB, Mehanna H, Spruce RJ, Wei W, Chung I, Murray PG, Yap LF and Paterson IC (2019). Collagen induces a more proliferative, migratory and chemoresistant phenotype in head and neck cancer via DDR1. Cancers  vol. 11, (11) 10.3390/cancers11111766
Rehman A, Cai Y, Hünefeld C, Jedliková H, Huang Y, Teck Teh M, Sharif Ahmad U, Uttagomol J, Wang Y, Kang A, Warnes G, Harwood C, Bergamaschi D, Kenneth Parkinson E, Röcken M and Wan H (2019). The desmosomal cadherin desmoglein-3 acts as a keratinocyte anti-stress protein via suppression of p53. Cell Death and Disease  vol. 10, (10) 10.1038/s41419-019-1988-0
(2019). Analysis of head and neck carcinoma progression reveals novel and relevant stage-specific changes associated with immortalisation and malignancy. Sci Rep  vol. 9, (1) 10.1038/s41598-019-48229-7


PARKINSON E, JAMES E and Bennett M (2018). The induction of the fibroblast extracellular senescence metabolome is a dynamic process. Scientific Reports  10.1038/s41598-018-29809-5
Melling GE, Flannery SE, Abidin SA, Clemmens H, Prajapati P, Hinsley EE, Hunt S, Catto JWF, Coletta RD, Mellone M, Thomas GJ, Parkinson EK, Prime SS, Paterson IC, Buttle DJ and Lambert DW (2018). A miRNA-145/TGF-β1 negative feedback loop regulates the cancer-associated fibroblast phenotype. Carcinogenesis  vol. 39, (6) 798-807. 10.1093/carcin/bgy032
Bergmeier LA and Parkinson EK (2018). Future directions of research in the oral mucosa. Oral Mucosa in Health and Disease: a Concise Handbook  10.1007/978-3-319-56065-6_13


James EL, Lane JAE, Michalek RD, Karoly ED and Parkinson EK (2016). Replicatively senescent human fibroblasts reveal a distinct intracellular metabolic profile with alterations in NAD+ and nicotinamide metabolism. Nature Publishing Group  Scientific Reports  vol. 6, 38489-38489. 10.1038/srep38489
Cirillo N, Hassona Y, Celentano A, Lim KP, Manchella S, Parkinson EK and Prime SS (2016). Cancer associated fibroblasts regulate keratinocyte cell-cell adhesion via TGF-ß-dependent pathways in genotype-specific oral cancer. Carcinogenesis  10.1093/carcin/bgw113
PARKINSON EK (2016). A miR‐335/COX‐2/PTEN axis regulates the secretory phenotype of senescent cancerassociated fibroblasts. Impact Journals  Aging  10.18632/aging.100987
Parkinson EK, James EL and Prime SS (2016). Senescence-Derived Extracellular Molecules as Modulators of Oral Cancer Development: A Mini-Review. Gerontology  vol. 62, (4) 417-424. 10.1159/000440954
Rehman A, Ali S, Lone MA, Atif M, Hassona Y, Prime SS, Pitiyage GN, James ELN and Parkinson EK (2016). Areca nut alkaloids induce irreparable DNA damage and senescence in fibroblasts and may create a favourable environment for tumour progression. Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine  vol. 45, (5) 365-372. 10.1111/jop.12370


James EL, Michalek RD, Pitiyage GN, De Castro AM, Vignola KS, Jones J, Mohney RP, Karoly ED, Prime SS and Parkinson EK (2015). Senescent human fibroblasts show increased glycolysis and redox homeostasis with extracellular metabolomes that overlap with those of irreparable DNA damage, aging, and disease. Journal of Proteome Research  vol. 14, (4) 1854-1871. 10.1021/pr501221g
James EL and Parkinson EK (2015). Serum metabolomics in animal models and human disease. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care  vol. 18, (5) 478-483. 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000200
Dale TP, de Castro A, Kuiper NJ, Parkinson EK and Forsyth NR (2015). Immortalisation with hTERT Impacts on Sulphated Glycosaminoglycan Secretion and Immunophenotype in a Variable and Cell Specific Manner. Plos One  vol. 10, (7) 10.1371/journal.pone.0133745


Hassona Y, Cirillo N, Heesom K, Parkinson EK and Prime SS (2014). Senescent cancer-associated fibroblasts secrete active MMP-2 that promotes keratinocyte dis-cohesion and invasion. Br J Cancer  vol. 111, (6) 1230-1237. 10.1038/bjc.2014.438
Dale TP, De Castro A, Parkinson EK, Kuiper NJ and Forsyth NR (2014). Immortalisation with hTERT impacts on sulphated glycosaminoglycan secretion and chondrogenic potential in a variable and cell specific manner. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine  vol. 8, 366-366.
de Castro A, Minty F, Hattinger E, Wolf R and Parkinson EK (2014). The secreted protein S100A7 (psoriasin) is induced by telomere dysfunction in human keratinocytes independently of a DNA damage response and cell cycle regulators. Longev Healthspan  vol. 3, 10.1186/2046-2395-3-8


Nikolakopoulou Z, Nteliopoulos G, Michael-Titus AT and Parkinson EK (2013). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids selectively inhibit growth in neoplastic oral keratinocytes by differentially activating ERK1/2. Oxford University Press  Carcinogenesis  vol. N/A, 1-38. 10.1093/carcin/bgt257
Hassona Y, Cirillo N, Lim KP, Herman A, Mellone M, Thomas GJ, Pitiyage GN, Parkinson EK and Prime SS (2013). Progression of genotype-specific oral cancer leads to senescence of cancer-associated fibroblasts and is mediated by oxidative stress and TGF-β. Carcinogenesis  vol. 34, (6) 1286-1295. 10.1093/carcin/bgt035
Nikolakopoulou Z, Shaikh MH, Dehlawi H, Michael-Titus AT and Parkinson EK (2013). The induction of apoptosis in pre-malignant keratinocytes by omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is inhibited by albumin. Toxicol Lett  vol. 218, (2) 150-158. 10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.01.021


Pitiyage GN, Lim KP, Gemenitzidis E, Teh M-T, Waseem A, Prime SS, Tilakaratne WM, Fortune F and Parkinson EK (2012). Increased secretion of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases 1 and 2 (TIMPs -1 and -2) in fibroblasts are early indicators of oral sub-mucous fibrosis and ageing. J Oral Pathol Med  vol. 41, (6) 454-462. 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2012.01129.x


Pitiyage GN, Slijepcevic P, Gabrani A, Chianea YG, Lim KP, Prime SS, Tilakaratne WM, Fortune F and Parkinson EK (2011). Senescent mesenchymal cells accumulate in human fibrosis by a telomere-independent mechanism and ameliorate fibrosis through matrix metalloproteinases. J Pathol  vol. 223, (5) 604-617. 10.1002/path.2839
Lim KP, Cirillo N, Hassona Y, Wei WB, Thurlow JK, Cheong SC, Pitiyage G, Parkinson EK and Prime SS (2011). Fibroblast gene expression profile reflects the stage of tumour progression in oral squamous cell carcinoma. J Pathol  vol. 223, (4) 459-469. 10.1002/path.2841
Teh M-T, Parkinson EK, Thurlow JK, Liu F, Fortune F and Wan H (2011). A molecular study of desmosomes identifies a desmoglein isoform switch in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. J Oral Pathol Med  vol. 40, (1) 67-76. 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2010.00951.x


Parkinson EK (2010). Senescence as a modulator of oral squamous cell carcinoma development. Oral Oncol  vol. 46, (12) 840-853. 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2009.09.009
Thurlow JK, Peña Murillo CL, Hunter KD, Buffa FM, Patiar S, Betts G, West CML, Harris AL, Parkinson EK, Harrison PR, Ozanne BW, Partridge M and Kalna G (2010). Spectral clustering of microarray data elucidates the roles of microenvironment remodeling and immune responses in survival of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. J Clin Oncol  vol. 28, (17) 2881-2888. 10.1200/JCO.2009.24.8724
Gemenetzidis E, Elena-Costea D, Parkinson EK, Waseem A, Wan H and Teh MT (2010). Induction of Human Epithelial Stem/Progenitor Expansion by FOXM1. American Association For Cancer Research.  Cancer Research  vol. 70, (22) 9515-9526. 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2173


Syed ML, Syed S, Minty F, Harrower S, Singh J, Chin A, McLellan DR, Parkinson EK and Clark LJ (2009). Gamma tubulin: A promising indicator of recurrence in squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx. Otolaryng Head Neck  vol. 140, (4) 498-504. 10.1016/j.otohns.2008.12.049
Gemenetzidis E, Bose A, Riaz AM, Chaplin T, Young BD, Ali M, Sugden D, Thurlow JK, Cheong S-C, Teo S-H, Wan H, Waseem A, Parkinson EK, Fortune F and Teh M-T (2009). FOXM1 upregulation is an early event in human squamous cell carcinoma and it is enhanced by nicotine during malignant transformation. Plos One  vol. 4, (3) 10.1371/journal.pone.0004849


Maclntyre A, Brouilette SW, Lamb K, Radhakrishnan K, McGlynn L, Chee MM, Parkinson EK, Freeman D, Madhok R and Shiels PG (2008). Association of increased telomere lengths in limited scleroderma, with a lack of age-related telomere erosion. Ann Rheum Dis  vol. 67, (12) 1780-1782. 10.1136/ard.2007.086652
Minty F, Thurlow JK, Harrison PR and Parkinson EK (2008). Telomere dysfunction in human keratinocytes elicits senescence and a novel transcription profile. Exp Cell Res  vol. 314, (13) 2434-2447. 10.1016/j.yexcr.2008.05.007
Tilakaratne WM, Iqbal Z, Teh MT, Ariyawardana A, Pitiyage G, Cruchley A, Stewart JE, Hagi-Pavli E, Lalli A, Waseem A, Parkinson EK and Fortune F (2008). Upregulation of HIF-1 alpha in malignant transformation of oral submucous fibrosis. J Oral Pathol Med  vol. 37, (6) 372-377. 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2007.00625.x
Lalli A, Tilakaratne WM, Ariyawardana A, Fitchett C, Leigh IM, Hagi-Pavli E, Cruchley AT, Parkinson EK, Teh MT, Fortune F and Waseem A (2008). An altered keratinocyte phenotype in oral submucous fibrosis: correlation of keratin K17 expression with disease severity. J Oral Pathol Med  vol. 37, (4) 211-220. 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2007.00609.x
McCaul JA, Gordon KE, Minty F, Fleming J and Parkinson EK (2008). Telomere dysfunction is related to the intrinsic radio-resistance of human oral cancer cells. Oral Oncol  vol. 44, (3) 261-269. 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2007.02.010
Parkinson EK, Fitchett C and Cereser B (2008). Dissecting the non-canonical functions of telomerase. Cytogenet Genome Res  vol. 122, (3-4) 273-280. 10.1159/000167813


Parkinson EK and Minty F (2007). Anticancer therapy targeting telomeres and telomerase : current status. Biodrugs  vol. 21, (6) 375-385. 10.2165/00063030-200721060-00005


Hunter KD, Thurlow JK, Fleming J, Drake PJH, Vass JK, Kalna G, Higham DJ, Herzyk P, Macdonald DG, Parkinson EK and Harrison PR (2006). Divergent routes to oral cancer. Cancer Res  vol. 66, (15) 7405-7413. 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-0186
Pring M, Prime S, Parkinson EK and Paterson I (2006). Dysregulated TGF-beta 1-induced Smad signalling occurs as a result of defects in multiple components of the TGF-beta signalling pathway in human head and neck carcinoma cell lines. Int J Oncol  vol. 28, (5) 1279-1285.
Sedghizadeh PP, Mallery SR, Thompson SJ, Kresty L, Beck FM, Parkinson EK, Biancamano J and Lang JC (2006). Expression of the serine protease Desc1 correlates directly with normal keratinocyte differentiation and inversely with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma progression. Head Neck-J Sci Spec  vol. 28, (5) 432-440. 10.1002/hed.20346


Hunter KD, Parkinson EK and Harrison PR (2005). Profiling early head and neck cancer. Nat Rev Cancer  vol. 5, (2) 127-135. 10.1038/nrc1549


Munro J, Barr NI, Ireland H, Morrison V and Parkinson EK (2004). Histone deacetylase inhibitors induce a senescence-like state in human cells by a p16-dependent mechanism that is independent of a mitotic clock. Exp Cell Res  vol. 295, (2) 525-538. 10.1016/j.yexcr.2004.01.017
Scott LA, Vass JK, Parkinson EK, Gillespie DAF, Winnie JN and Ozanne BW (2004). Invasion of normal human fibroblasts induced by v-Fos is independent of proliferation, immortalization, and the tumor suppressors p16INK4a and p53. Mol Cell Biol  vol. 24, (4) 1540-1559. 10.1128/mcb.24.4.1540-1559.2004
Gordon KE and Parkinson EK (2004). Analysis of telomerase activity and telomere function in cancer. Methods Mol Biol  vol. 281, 333-348. 10.1385/1-59259-811-0:333


Muntoni A, Fleming J, Gordon KE, Hunter K, McGregor F, Parkinson EK and Harrison PR (2003). Senescing oral dysplasias are not immortalized by ectopic expression of hTERT alone without other molecular changes, such as loss of INK4A and/or retinoic acid receptor-beta: but p53 mutations are not necessarily required. Oncogene  vol. 22, (49) 7804-7808. 10.1038/sj.onc.1207085
Wootton M, Steeghs K, Watt D, Munro J, Gordon K, Ireland H, Morrison V, Behan W and Parkinson EK (2003). Telomerase alone extends the replicative life span of human skeletal muscle cells without compromising genomic stability. Hum Gene Ther  vol. 14, (15) 1473-1487. 10.1089/104303403769211682
Fitzsimmons SA, Ireland H, Barr NI, Cuthbert AP, Going JJ, Newbold RF and Parkinson EK (2003). Human squamous cell carcinomas lose a mortality gene from chromosome 6q14.3 to q15. Oncogene  vol. 22, (11) 1737-1746. 10.1038/sj.onc.1206295
Gordon KE, Ireland H, Roberts M, Steeghs K, McCaul JA, MacDonald DG and Parkinson EK (2003). High levels of telomere dysfunction bestow a selective disadvantage during the progression of human oral squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Res  vol. 63, (2) 458-467.
Parkinson EK (2003). Telomerase as a novel and potentially selective target for cancer chemotherapy. Ann Med  vol. 35, (7) 466-475. 10.1080/07853890310006361


Bryce SD, Morrison V, Craig NJ, Forsyth NR, Fitzsimmons SA, Ireland H, Cuthbert AP, Newbold RF and Parkinson EK (2002). A mortality gene(s) for the human adenocarcinoma line HeLa maps to a 130-kb region of human chromosome 4q22-q23. Neoplasia  vol. 4, (6) 544-550. 10.1038/sj.neo.7900268
McGregor F, Muntoni A, Fleming J, Brown J, Felix DH, MacDonald DG, Parkinson EK and Harrison PR (2002). Molecular changes associated with oral dysplasia progression and acquisition of immortality: potential for its reversal by 5-azacytidine. Cancer Res  vol. 62, (16) 4757-4766.
Forsyth NR, Morrison V, Craig NJ, Fitzsimmons SA, Barr NI, Ireland H, Gordon KE, Dowen S, Cuthbert AP, Newbold RF, Bryce SD and Parkinson EK (2002). Functional evidence for a squamous cell carcinoma mortality gene(s) on human chromosome 4. Oncogene  vol. 21, (33) 5135-5147. 10.1038/sj.onc.1205688
McCaul JA, Gordon KE, Clark LJ and Parkinson EK (2002). Telomerase inhibition and the future management of head-and-neck cancer. Lancet Oncol  vol. 3, (5) 280-288. 10.1016/s1470-2045(02)00729-5
Paterson IC, Davies M, Stone A, Huntley S, Smith E, Pring M, Eveson JW, Robinson CM, Parkinson EK and Prime SS (2002). TGF-beta 1 acts as a tumor suppressor of human malignant keratinocytes independently of Smad 4 expression and ligand-induced G(1) arrest. Oncogene  vol. 21, (10) 1616-1624. 10.1038/sj/onc/1205217


Snaddon J, Parkinson EK, Craft JA, Bartholomew C and Fulton R (2001). Detection of functional PTEN lipid phosphatase protein and enzyme activity in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, despite loss of heterozygosity at this locus. Brit J Cancer  vol. 84, (12) 1630-1634. 10.1054/bjoc.2001.1848
Munro J, Steeghs K, Morrison V, Ireland H and Parkinson EK (2001). Human fibroblast replicative senescence can occur in the absence of extensive cell division and short telomeres. Oncogene  vol. 20, (27) 3541-3552. 10.1038/sj.onc.1204460
Paterson IC, Matthews JB, Huntley S, Robinson CM, Fahey M, Parkinson EK and Prime SS (2001). Decreased expression of TGF-beta cell surface receptors during progression of human oral squamous cell carcinoma. J Pathol  vol. 193, (4) 458-467. 10.1002/1096-9896(2000)9999:9999<::AID-PATH822>3.0.CO;2-V


Grants of specific relevance to Predictive in vitro Models
Developing a marker for ageing cells: can we identify and reverse age-related disease?
Parkinson K and Parkinson EK
£119,979 Dunhill Medical Trust (01-04-2016 - 31-03-2018)