Dr Felicity Savage

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Department:Biomedical and Forensic Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Life sciences

Felicity’s research background is in wound healing and cancer biology in particular related to the large bowel. Her teaching focus is on biological sciences, maths and study skills.

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More recently Felicity's career has focused on undergraduate teaching of students from level 3 to level 6, across a range of topics including biochemistry, cell biology, histology, maths, physiology by lecture, tutorial and practical. Tutorials have included the skills required to succeed at university, such as writing practical reports and essays and numeracy for science. Teaching has included specialist courses in cancer biology, with a focus on how cancer cells spread, and orthopaedic science contributing teaching on the degradation of connective tissue. Felicity has supervised level 6 literature and research projects on topics related to biomedical science.

Previously, Felicity’s research interest was on the colon and connective tissue degradation by matrix metalloproteinases, a group of enzymes that between them degrade all the components of the extracellular matrix. These enzymes were investigated in colonic wound healing in circumstances known to compromise healing and compared to the distribution given in ideal conditions for healing. These same enzymes have also been studied in colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Other projects have investigated the immortalisation of human adult colonic epithelial cell and the influence of endothelin-1 on colorectal cancer cells.

Research interests

  • Colonic wound healing following surgery: the distribution of the matrix metalloproteinases during healing and how this was affected by the circumstances in which an operation is performed
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: the use of a model to determine the distribution of the matrix metalloproteinase and to study arachidonic acid metabolites and the effect of methylprednisolone on these metabolites and the distribution of matrix metalloproteinases
  • Colorectal cancer: cancer cells within the circulation and in the peritoneal cavity pre- and post-operation to determine if spillage of cells during an operation might contribute to recurrence. Functions of endothelin

Areas of research supervision


  • An investigation of the relationship between matrix metalloproteinases and anastomotic dehiscence in a rabbit model of colonic healing, PhD University of London 1994
  • The development and use of an animal model of inflammatory bowel disease, PhD University of London 1994
  • Protease expression during mechanical stimulation of collagens. Second supervisor, PhD University of London 1998
  • Differentiation of transformed and non-transformed human mammary epithelial cells, PhD University of London 2003


  • The role of collagenase in the healing of colonic anastomoses – a reappraisal, MS University of London 1991
  • An evaluation of photoimmunotherapy as a treatment for colorectal cancer, MS University of London 1994
  • Tumour invasion and metastasis in colorectal cancer [an Immunohistochemical study in to the role of matrix metalloproteinase enzymes, TIMP-1 and circulating tumour cells, MS University of London 1993
  • Regulation of matrix metalloproteinases during colonic anastomotic healing, MS University of London 1999
  • Endothelin receptors in colorectal cancer, MD University of London 2003

MSc in Surgical Sciences

  • Immunomagnetic cell separation: a rapid method for isolation of colorectal epithelial cells, 1995
  • The effect of endothelin-1 on the adhesion of colorectal cancer cells to extracellular matrix, 2003


Felicity teaches on the modules Foundation Maths for Science, Foundation Biology, Biological Principles, Developing Academic Skills 1 and 2


  • PhD Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Liverpool Polytechnic
  • BSc Biochemistry, UMIST

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, the Higher Education Academy

Selected recent publications

Haque, S.U., Dashwood, M.R., Heetun, M., Shiwen, X., Farooqui, N., Ramesh, B., Welch, H., Savage, F.J., Ogunbiyi, O., Abraham, D.J. and Loizidou M., 2013. Efficacy of the specific endothelin A receptor antagonist zibotentan (ZD4054) in colorectal cancer: a preclinical study. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 12, pp. 1556-1567.

Hoosein, M.M., Dashwood, M.R., Dawas, K., Ali, H.M., Grant, K., Savage, F., Taylor, I. and Loizidou, M., 2007. Altered endothelin receptor subtypes in colorectal cancer. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 19(9), pp.775-82.

Hoosein, M., Dashwood, M., Grant, K., Savage, F., Loizidou, M. and Taylor, I., 2004. Endothelin receptor profiles in colorectal cancer. British Journal Of Surgery, 91(9), pp.1231-1231.

Shaper, K.R.L., Savage, F.J., Hembry, R.M, and Boulos, P.B., 2001. Regulation of matrix metalloproteinases in a model of colonic wound healing in a rabbit. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, 44, pp.1-10.

Ali, H., Loizidou, M., Dashwood, M., Savage, F., Sheard, C. and Taylor, I., 2000. Stimulation of colorectal cancer cell line growth by ET-1 and its inhibition by ETA antagonists. Gut, 47, pp.685-688.

Ali, H., Dashwood, M., Dawas, K., Loizidou, M., Savage, F. and Taylor, I., 1998. Endothelin receptor expression in colorectal cancer. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 36 (Suppl 1), S69-71.

Savage, F.J., Lacombe, D.L.P., Hembry,  R.M. and Boulos, P.B., 1998. Effect of colonic obstruction on the distribution of matrix metalloproteinases during anastomotic healing. British Journal of Surgery, 85, pp.72-75.

Anthony, D., Savage, F., Boulos, P., Hembry, R., Sams, V. and Trevethick, M., 1997. Effect of methylprednisolone on the ulceration, matrix metalloproteinase distribution and eicosanoid production in a model of colitis in the rabbit. International Journal of Experimental Pathology, 78, pp.411-419.

Savage, F.J., Lacombe, D.L.P., Boulos, P.B. and Hembry, R.M., 1997. Role of matrix metalloproteinases in healing of colonic anastomosis. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, 40, pp.962-970.

Anthony, D., Savage, F., Sams, V. and Boulos, P., 1995. The characterisation of a rabbit model of inflammatory bowel disease. International Journal of Experimental Pathology, 76, pp.215-224.

Gallagos, N.C., Smales, C., Savage, F.J., Hembry, R.M. and Boulos, P.B., 1995. Distribution of matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases in colorectal cancer. Surgical Oncology, 4, pp.111-119.

Leather, A.J.M., Kocjan, G., Savage, F., Hu, W., Yiu, C-Y, Boulos, P.B., Northover, J.M.A. and Phillips, R.K.S., 1994. Detection of free malignant cells in the peritoneal cavity before and after resection of colorectal cancer. Diseases of Colon and Rectum, 37, pp.814-819.

Anthony, D.C., Savage, F.J., Hembry, R.M. and Boulos, P.B., 1994. Protease activity in experimental colitis. Agents and Actions, 41, C201-C203.

Nigam, A.K., Savage, F.J., Boulos, P.B., Stamp, G.W.H., Liu, D. and Pignatelli, M., 1993. Loss of cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion molecules in colorectal cancer.  British Journal of Cancer, 68, pp.507-514.

Leather, A.M., Gallegos, N., Kocjan, G., Savage, F., Smales, C., Hu, W., Boulos, P.B., Northover, J.M.A. and Phillips, R.K.S., 1993. Detection and enumeration of circulating tumour cells in colorectal cancer. British Journal of Surgery, 80, pp.777-780.

Dawson, J.W., Morgan, J., Barr, H., Davidson, B., Dean, C., MacRobert, A., Savage, F. and Boulos, P., 1993. Epithelial membrane antigen: a suitable target for an antibody-photosensitizer conjugate in the treatment of subclinical deposits of cancer. In: Monoclonal Antibodies, 2, pp.27-38. E Epenetos (editor) (London: Chapman and Hall).

Wilson-Holt, N., Khaw, P., Savage, F. and Grierson, I., 1992. The chemoattractant activity of the vitreous to human scleral fibroblasts following retinal detachment and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 76, pp.159-162.

Chowcat, N.L., Savage, F.J., Lewin, M.R. and Boulos, P.B., 1990. Direct measurement of collagenase in colonic anastomosis. British Journal of Surgery, 77, pp.1284-1287.

McKechnie, N.M., Boulton, M., Robey, H.L., Savage, F.J. and Grierson, I., 1988. The cytoskeletal elements of human retinal pigment epithelium: in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Cell Science, 91, pp.303-312.

Savage, F.J., Day, J.E., Hogg, P. and Grierson, I. 1988. Tissue culture of retinal glia. Eye, 2, S164-S179.

Chowcat, N.L., Savage, F.J., Hembry, R.M. and Boulos, P.B., 1988. Role of collagenase in colonic anastomosis: a reappraisal. British Journal of Surgery, 75, pp.330-334.

Gelister, J.S.K., Lewin, M.R., Savage, F.J., Mahmound, M., Garcia-Frade, J., Gaffney, P.J. and Boulos, P.B., 1987. Plasminogen activator in experimental colorectal neoplasia: a role of the adenoma-carcinoma sequence? Gut, 28, pp.816-821.