Sara A. Courtneidge was born in the UK, and received her BSc from the University of Leeds and her PhD from the National Institute for Medical Research, London. Following postdoctoral study at the University of California, San Francisco, and an independent position at the National Institute for Medical Research, she joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany in 1985, where she rose to the position of senior scientist. Changing course in 1994, Dr. Courtneidge joined SUGEN Inc., where as chief scientist she guided novel kinase discovery and validation efforts in oncology. From 2001-2005 she was distinguished scientific investigator at the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and from 2005-2014 she served as director of academic affairs, and professor and director of the Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program at the Sanford|Burnham|Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California. She joined OHSU in 2014, and is associate director for translational sciences in the Knight Cancer Institute, as well as a professor in the Departments of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology and Biomedical Engineering, and a member of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine.
Dr. Courtneidge’s laboratory has studied the Src family of protein tyrosine kinases for a number of years, and has contributed to the understanding of Src transformation, regulation, substrate selection and function. Currently, her research on Src and it substrates focuses on cancer invasion and metastasis, with particular emphasis on the role of membrane structures called podosomes or invadopodia. She also retains an interest in translational research, with the goal of defining novel therapeutic points of intervention for cancer treatment.
Dr. Courtneidge’s contributions to cancer research have been recognized with numerous honors, including election to the European Molecular Biology Organization, the Jubilee Lecture and Harden Medal of the British Biochemical Society, the Feodor Lynen Lecture and Lynen Medal, an honorary doctorate from the University of Leeds, and, in 2015, the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship.