Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Aymen Idris

(Former employee or visitor)

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Current Research Interests

Bone metastasis is a common complication in cancer and occurs in 70% of patients of breast and prostate cancer. The major clinical manifestations of bone metastases are increased morbidity associated with bone pain, skeletal fractures, hypercalcemia, and spinal cord compression. The focus of our research is to uncover novel pathways essential for regulation of cancer - bone cell interaction, and develop and test novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of skeletal complications associated with bone metastases. We have developed a model system to test the effects of novel therapeutic agents on cancer induced osteoclastic bone destruction in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo.


Aymen Idris is a pharmacologist and a lecturer in cancer associated bone disease at the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre at the the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. The focus of his research has been the discovery and development of novel therapeutic agents for the prevention and treatment of bone diseases. His PhD thesis yielded a number of patents for novel anti-resorptive small molecules that target and prevent RANKL-dependent signalling. One of his particular areas of interests is the role of “cannabis-like substances” on bone biology and pharmacology. His research in this area has demonstrated that cannabinoid receptors play a key role in regulating bone mass and bone turnover in mice. His current research focuses on uncovering novel pathways vital for bone - tumour cell interaction, and discovering novel therapeutic agents for the prevention and treatment of skeletal complications associated with bone metastases. He has grant funding from the Moray Endowments Research Trust and was awarded the ECTS/AMGEN Bone Biology Fellowship in 2006.

Honours and awards
2012: Iain T Boyle award.
2007: ECTS Young investigator award.
2006: ECTS/AMGEN Bone Biology Fellowship.
2006: ECTS Young investigator award.
2005: IBMS/ECTS Young investigator award.
2004: ECTS Young investigator award.
2002: Frontiers of Skeletal Biology Young investigator award.


Education and qualifications
2004: PhD. Medicine. Supervisor: Prof. Stuart H. Ralston, University of Aberdeen.
2000: MSc. Pharmacology. Supervisor: Prof. G. M. Hawksworth, University of Aberdeen.
1998: BSc. (Hons) Pharmacology, School of Health Science, University of Sunderland.


Research Groups

1. Pushpabhani P. Peramuhendige
Project: Role of TNF receptor associated factors in metastatic bone disease.
Sponsor: Charles Darwin International Scholarships - University of Edinburgh.
2. Asim A. O. Khogeer
Project: Role of RANK on the development and progression of metastatic bone disease.
Sponsor: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
3. John Logan
Project: Targeting Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor kinase for treatment of osteolytic bone disease.
Sponsor: Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine Studentship - University of Edinburgh.
4. Silvia Marino
Project: Role of IKK in breast cancer induced osteolysis.

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