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Dr Klaus Pors

Senior Lecturer in Chemical Biology

Faculty/Dept/School School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
Telephone +441274 236482


Dr Klaus Pors graduated with a BEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark in 1998 and completed his studies in medicinal chemistry at the UCL School of Pharmacy in 2002. Both his PhD and Postdoc (UCL School of Pharmacy 2002-05) was focused on the discovery of anticancer agents and hypoxia-activated prodrugs to treat solid tumours. In 2005 he relocated to Bradford to take up a Yorkshire Cancer Research-funded lecturer position at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Chemical Biology in 2013.


Research in the Pors group is focussed on research at the interface between chemistry and biology. Traditional approaches to drug discovery such as target oriented synthesis and medicinal chemistry are used to develop focussed libraries of small molecules that are entirely new chemical entities or re-engineered versions of natural products. In addition, his group uses diversity-oriented synthesis to generate collections of small molecules of structural diverse architecture, which can be used to probe new chemical space or known biological pathways that are not well understood. In the context of cancer, small molecules are designed to (i) exploit enzymatic and/or physiological conditions found unique to the tumour microenvironment or (ii) circumvent or exploit resistance mechanisms present in malignant tissue. As an extension of the latter, we are actively engaged in understanding how epigenetic therapy may affect the regulation and expression of drug metabolising enzymes (pharmacoepigenetics). In addition, we are also interested in developing molecular fluorescent probes that can be used to stain fixed or live cells with wide applications in routine and research laboratories utilising flow cytometry and fluorescence imaging methods. 


Teaching interests

Cancer Research

Chemical Biology

Drug Discovery

Drug Metabolism


Fluorophores for imaging and tracking


Medicinal Chemistry

Stem Cells

Professional activities

  • 01-JAN-02: UCL - PhD
  • 01-JAN-98: University of Southern Denmark - BEng
  • External Examiner: External Examiner, BSc Biopharmaceutical Science, University of Sunderland (2015-)
  • External Examiner: External Examiner, MSc in Drug Design and Discovery, University of Salford (2015-19)
  • Guest Lecturer: Guest Lecturer (2013-), "Chemistry in Drug Discovery", Ecole Superieure de Chimie Organique et Minerale (ESCOM, Paris, France)
  • Guest Lecturer: Guest Lecturer (2013-), in "Cancer Drug Discovery", The Department of Science and Drug Technologies, University of Torino (Italy)
  • Editor: Editor, CICR Editorial Board (AACR, 2012-2016); Past Editor
  • Past Executive Member: British Association for Cancer Research (BACR), past executive committee member (2008-11)
  • Elected Member: Elected member of the EPSRC peer review college (2016-)
  • Elected Member: Elected member of the British Council, Newton Schemes (2016-)
  • Reviewer (Grants): Ad-hoc grant reviewer for research councils and charities (MRC, EPSRC, AICR, Breast Cancer Now, Prostate Cancer UK)


Peer Reviewed Journal
TitleExploration of [2 + 2 + 2] cyclotrimerisation methodology to prepare tetrahydroisoquinoline-based compounds with potential aldo-keto reductase 1C3 target affinity (2019)
AuthorsSantos A.;Sheldrake H.;Ibrahim A.;Danta C.;Bonanni D.;Daga M.;Oliaro-Bosso S.;Boschi D.;Lolli M.;Pors K.
TitleMultigram scale synthesis of polycyclic lactones and evaluation of antitumor and other biological properties. (2019)
AuthorsGrau L;Romero M;Privat-Contreras C;Presa D;Viñas M;Morral J;Pors K;Rubio-Martinez J;Pujol MD;
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
TitleProbing cytochrome P450 bioactivation and fluorescent properties with morpholinyl-tethered anthraquinones (2018)
AuthorsErrington, R.J.; Sadiq, M.; Cosentino, L.; Wiltshire, M.; Sadiq, O.; Sini, Marcella; Lizano, E.; Pujol, M.D.; Ribeiro Morais, Goreti; Pors, Klaus
TitleCurrent challenges and opportunities in treating hypoxic prostate tumors (2018)
AuthorsMcKenna DJ; Errington R; Pors K
JournalJournal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment
TitleExpression and regulation of aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) in prostate cancer (2018)
AuthorsIbrahim AIM; Sadiq M; Frame F; Maitland NJ; Pors K
JournalJournal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment
PublisherOAE Publishing Inc
TitleSynthesis and biological properties of aryl methyl sulfones. (2018)
AuthorsNavarro L;Rosell G;Sánchez S;Boixareu N;Pors K;Pouplana R;Campanera JM;Pujol MD;
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
TitleHydroxytriazole derivatives as potent and selective aldo-keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3) inhibitors discovered by bioisosteric scaffold hopping approach (2017)
AuthorsPippione, A.C.; Giraudo, A.; Bonanni, D.; Carnovale, I.M.; Marini, E.; Cena, C.; Costale, A.; Zonari, D.; Pors, Klaus; Sadiq, Maria; Boschi, D.; Oliaro-Bosso, S.; Lolli, M.L.
TitleAndrogen-AR axis in primary and metastatic prostate cancer: chasing steroidogenic enzymes for therapeutic intervention (2017)
AuthorsPippione AC; Boschi D; Pors K; Oliaro-Bosso S; Lolli ML
JournalJournal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment
PublisherOAE Publishing Inc
TitleTherapeutic antibodies against cancer stem cells: a promising approach. (2017)
AuthorsSneha S;Nagare RP;Priya SK;Sidhanth C;Pors K;Ganesan TS;
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
TitlePolysialic acid sustains cancer cell survival and migratory capacity in a hypoxic environment (2016)
AuthorsElkashef, Sara M.; Allison, Simon J.; Sadiq, Maria; Basheer, Haneen A.; Ribeiro Morais, Goreti; Loadman, Paul M.; Pors, Klaus; Falconer, Robert A.
JournalScientific Reports
TitleMitoxantrone and Analogues Bind and Stabilize i-Motif Forming DNA Sequences (2016)
AuthorsWright, E.P.; Day, H.A.; Ibrahim, Ali M.; Kumar, Jeethendra; Boswell, L.J.E.; Huguin, C.; Stevenson, C.E.M.; Pors, Klaus
TitleRational development of novel activity probes for the analysis of human cytochromes P450 (2016)
AuthorsSellars, J.D.; Skipsey, M.; Sadr-ul-Shaheed; Gravell, Sebastian; Abumansour, Hamza M.A.; Kashtl, Ghasaq; Irfan, Jawaria; Khot, Mohamed; Pors, Klaus; Patterson, Laurence H.; Sutton, Chris W.
TitleRefining the chemical toolbox to be fit for educational and practical purpose for drug discovery in the 21st Century (2015)
AuthorsLolli, M.L.; Narramore, S.; Fishwick, C.W.; Pors, Klaus
TitleSolid-phase synthesis of duocarmycin analogues and the effect of C-terminal substitution on biological activity (2015)
AuthorsStephenson, M.J.; Howell, L.A.; O'Connell, M.A.; Fox, K.R.; Adcock, C.; Kingston, J.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Pors, Klaus; Collingwood, S.P.; Searcey, M.
TitleProbing cytochrome P450-mediated activation with a truncated azinomycin analogue (2015)
AuthorsVinader, Victoria; Sadiq, Maria; Sutherland, Mark H.; Huang, M.Y.; Loadman, Paul M.; Elsalem, Lina M.I.; Shnyder, Steven D.; Cui, H.J.; Afarinkia, Kamyar; Searcey, M.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Pors, Klaus
TitleThe dual-acting chemotherapeutic agent Alchemix induces cell death independently of ATM and p53 (2015)
AuthorsThomas, A.; Perry, T.; Berhane, S.; Oldreive, C.; Zlatanou, A.; Williams, L.R.; Weston, V.J.; Stankovic, T.; Kearns, P.; Pors, Klaus; Grand, R.J.; Stewart, G.S.
TitleQuantitative analysis of cytochrome P450 isoforms in human liver microsomes by the combination of proteomics and chemical probe-based assay (2014)
AuthorsLiu, X.; Hu, L.; Ge, G.; Yang, B.; Ning, J.; Sun, S.; Yang, L.; Pors, Klaus; Gu, J.
TitleAldehyde dehydrogenases in cancer: an opportunity for biomarker and drug development? (2014)
AuthorsPors, Klaus; Moreb, J.S.
TitleColon cancer-specific cytochrome P450 2W1 converts duocarmycin analogues into potent tumor cytotoxins (2013)
AuthorsTravica, S.; Pors, Klaus; Loadman, Paul M.; Shnyder, Steven D.; Johansson, I.; Alandas, Mohammed N.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Mkrtchian, S.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Ingelman-Sundberg, M.
TitleKinetic analysis of intracellular Hoechst 33342-DNA interactions by flow cytometry: Misinterpretation of side population status? (2013)
AuthorsSmith P.;Wiltshire M.;Chappell S.;Cosentino L.;Burns P.;Pors K.;Errington R.
JournalCytometry Part A
TitleRe-engineering of the Duocarmycin Structural Architecture Enables Bioprecursor Development Targeting CYP1A1 and CYP2W1 for Biological Activity (2013)
AuthorsSheldrake, Helen M.; Travica, S.; Johansson, I.; Loadman, Paul M.; Sutherland, Mark H.; Elsalem, Lina M.I.; Illingworth, Nicola A.; Cresswell, Alexander J.; Reuillon, Tristan; Shnyder, Steven D.; Mkrtchian, S.; Searcey, M.; Ingelman-Sundberg, M.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Pors, Klaus
TitleCYP2W1 polymorphism: Functional aspects and relation to risk for colorectal cancer (2013)
AuthorsStenstedt K.;Travica S.;Guo J.;Barragan I.;Pors K.;Patterson L.;Edler D.;Mkrtchian S.;Johansson I.;Ingelman-Sundberg M.
TitleAntitumor activity of a duocarmycin analogue rationalized to be metabolically activated by cytochrome P450 1A1 in human transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (2013)
AuthorsSutherland, Mark H.; Gill, Jason H.; Loadman, Paul M.; Laye, Jonathan P.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Illingworth, Nicola A.; Alandas, Mohammed N.; Cooper, Patricia A.; Searcey, M.; Pors, Klaus; Shnyder, Steven D.; Patterson, Laurence H.
TitleMinor structural modifications to alchemix influence mechanism of action and pharmacological activity (2012)
AuthorsAbdallah Q.;Phillips R.;Johansson F.;Helleday T.;Cosentino L.;Abdel-Rahman H.;Etzad J.;Wheelhouse R.;Kiakos K.;Bingham J.;Hartley J.;Patterson L.;Pors K.
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
TitleSynthesis and biological evaluation of colchicine C-ring analogues tethered with aliphatic linkers suitable for prodrug derivatisation (2012)
AuthorsFournier-Dit-Chabert J.;Vinader V.;Santos A.;Redondo-Horcajo M.;Dreneau A.;Basak R.;Cosentino L.;Marston G.;Abdel-Rahman H.;Loadman P.;Shnyder S.;Díaz J.;Barasoain I.;Falconer R.;Pors K.
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
TitleSynthesis and biological evaluation of colchicine B-ring analogues tethered with halogenated benzyl moieties (2012)
AuthorsCosentino L.;Redondo-Horcajo M.;Zhao Y.;Santos A.;Chowdury K.;Vinader V.;Abdallah Q.;Abdel-Rahman H.;Fournier-Dit-Chabert J.;Shnyder S.;Loadman P.;Fang W.;Díaz J.;Barasoain I.;Burns P.;Pors K.
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
TitleUse of the hollow fiber assay for the evaluation of DNA damaging agents (2011)
AuthorsVeiga J.;Cooper P.;Pors K.;Patterson L.;Bibby M.;Shnyder S.
JournalJournal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
TitleModification of the duocarmycin pharmacophore enables CYP1A1 targeting for biological activity (2011)
AuthorsPors, Klaus; Loadman, Paul M.; Shnyder, Steven D.; Sutherland, Mark H.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Guino, M.; Kiakos, K.; Hartley, J.A.; Searcey, M.; Patterson, Laurence H.
TitleThe changing landscape of cancer drug discovery: a challenge to the medicinal chemist of tomorrow (2009)
AuthorsPors, Klaus; Goldberg, F.W.; Leamon, C.P.; Rigby, A.C.; Snyder, S.A.; Falconer, Robert A.
JournalDrug Discovery Today
TitleChemical and Biological Explorations of the Family of CC-1065 and the Duocarmycin Natural Products. (2009)
AuthorsGhosh, Nandita; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Searcey, M.; Pors, Klaus
TitleSynthesis of DNA-Directed Pyrrolidinyl and Piperidinyl Confined Alkylating Chloroalkylaminoanthraquinones: Potential for Development of Tumor-Selective N-Oxides (2006)
AuthorsPatterson, Laurence H.; Pors, Klaus; Shnyder, Steven D.; Teesdale-Spittle, P.H.; Hartley, J.A.; Searcey, M.; Zloh, M.
TitleTruncated azinomycin analogues intercalate into DNA. (2005)
AuthorsCasely-Hayford, M.A.; Pors, Klaus; Patterson, Laurence H.; Gerner, C.; Neidle, S.; Searcey, M.
TitleDesign and synthesis of a DNA-crosslinking azinomycin analogue (2005)
AuthorsPors, Klaus; Casely-Hayford, M.A.; Hartley, J.A.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Searcey, M.
TitleDevelopment of nonsymmetrical 1,4-disubstituted anthraquinones that are potently active against cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells (2005)
AuthorsTeesdale-Spittle, P.H.; Pors, Klaus; Brown, R.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Plumb, J.A.
TitleSynthesis and biological evaluation of novel chloroethylaminoanthraquinones with potent cytotoxic activity against cisplatin-resistant tumor cells (2004)
AuthorsPors, Klaus; Paniwnyk, Z.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Ruparelia, K.C.; Hartley, J.A.; Kelland, L.R.
TitleAlchemix: a novel alkylating anthraquinone with potent activity against anthracycline- and cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer. (2003)
AuthorsPors, Klaus; Paniwnyk, Z.; Teesdale-Spittle, P.H.; Plumb, J.A.; Willmore, E.; Austin, C.A.; Patterson, Laurence H.