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BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Professor Andrea Pepper (née Buggins)

Professor Andrea Pepper (née Buggins)

Andrea Pepper

Professor Andrea Pepper (Ph.D) (née Buggins)

Professor of Cancer Biology
Location: Medical Research Building, University of Sussex, Falmer BN1 9PX

Area of expertise: Haemato-Oncology 

Research areas: CLL and other Haematological Malignancies and Tumour microenvironment; Leukaemia; Lymphoma; Tumour trafficking identifying novel therapeutic targets

Other relevant positions: Deputy director of student support; UK CLL Forum Executive Committee, Joint Head of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine.

Personal website:



Andrea is a Reader and laboratory-based research scientist who runs a Leukaemia and Lymphoma research team at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) alongside her husband Prof. Chris Pepper and Dr Simon Mitchell. She originally trained as a biomedical scientist at St. Thomas’s hospital in London and then at King’s College Hospital. In 1996 she moved to King’s College London University as a research scientist and completed her PhD on Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in 1999. Since then, she has worked predominately on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) but also Follicular Lymphoma and lately, Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma and AML again. In 2017 she moved to BSMS where the Pepper/Mitchell research teams are rapidly expanding following grant awards from the MRC, Blood Cancer UK, Sussex Cancer Fund, UKRI and Leukaemia UK. 

The focus of Andrea’s research has been on the effect of the microenvironment on tumour migration, proliferation and survival with the aim of identifying and testing novel therapeutic targets. She has published over 35 peer-reviewed papers and currently sits on the executive committee of the UKCLL forum. 

Andrea is profoundly deaf and plays an active role on the BSMS disability working group. She is also BSMS deputy director of student support.


The focus of Andrea's research has been on the effect of the microenvironment on tumour proliferation and survival. This work has built on the main finding of her PhD, which was that the successful elimination of a tumour requires looking beyond the tumour itself to the effects of the surrounding microenvironment. To date, Andrea has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers and have acquired a national reputation in her field, particularly for her expertise in the immunosuppressive and anti-apoptotic effect of the tumour microenvironment. In addition, she has been involved in the collaborative development of a novel circulation system to study tumour migration. This was established with her husband Professor Chris Pepper who is also based at BSMS. Chris and Andrea will be building on this model to study the signalling pathways and critical drivers involved in tumour migration and retention with the aim of identifying and testing therapeutic targets.  



Andrea's teaching experience is primarily in the area student research supervision with a particular emphasis in supervising Clinical Training Fellows. In addition to the 4 Clinical Fellows and non-clinical PhD student she has directly supervised to completion, Andrea has also made a significant contribution to the supervision of 3 other PhD students, all of whom have also successfully completed their studies. As a co-applicant, Andrea has helped secure external grant support amounting to more than £1.5 million from both charitable and commercial sources including Bloodwise (previously Leukaemia Lymphoma Research UK), Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund and British Society of Haematology. She has retained strong academic collaborations within her colleagues at KCL and a wider network of national collaborators, in particular Dr Elisabeth Walsby at Cardiff University. At BSMS Andrea has set up new and exciting collaborations with Professor Chris Pepper, Dr Tim Chevassut and Dr Sandra Sacre and look forward to expanding these in the future.  

Selected publications

(Some publications in previous name Buggins)

Graham, Charlotte Elizabeth, Jozwik, Agnieszka, Quartey-Papafio, Ruby, Ioannou, Nikolaos, Metelo, Ana M, Scala, Carlo, Dickson, Glenda, Stewart, Orla, Almena-Carrasco, Maria, Peranzoni, Elisa, Ramsay, Alan G, Patten, Piers E M, Pertel, Thomas, Farzaneh, Farzin, Dupouy, Sandra, Pepper, Andrea and Benjamin, Reuben (2021) Gene-edited healthy donor CAR T cells show superior anti-tumour activity compared to CAR T cells derived from patients with lymphoma in an in vivo model of high-grade lymphoma. Leukemia. pp. 1-4. ISSN 0887-6924

Pepper, Andrea G S, Zucchetto, Antonella, Norris, Kevin, Tissino, Erika, Polesel, Jerry, Soe, Zarni, Allsup, David, Hockaday, Anna, Ow, Pei Loo, Hillmen, Peter, Rawstron, Andrew, Catovsky, Daniel, Bulian, Pietro, Bomben, Riccardo, Baird, Duncan M, Fegan, Christopher D, Gattei, Valter and Pepper, Chris (2021) Combined analysis of IGHV mutations, telomere length and CD49d identifies long-term progression-free survivors in TP53 wild-type CLL treated with FCR-based therapies. Leukemia. pp. 1-4. ISSN 0887-6924

Kennedy, Emma, Coulter, Eve Marie, Halliwell, Emma, Profitos-Peleja, Nuria, Walsby, Elisabeth, Clark, Barnaby, Phillips, Elizabeth H, Burley, Thomas A, Mitchell, Simon, Devereux, Stephen, Jones, Christopher Iain, Johnston, Rosalynd, Chevassut, Timothy J, Pepper, Chris, Pepper, Andrea G S and others, (2021) TLR9 expression in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia identifies a pro-migratory subpopulation and novel therapeutic target. Blood. pp. 1-32. ISSN 0006-4971

Graham, Charlotte, Jozwik, Agnieszka, Pepper, Andrea and Benjamin, Reuben (2018) Allogeneic CAR-T cells: more than ease of access? Cells, 7 (10). p. 155. ISSN 2073-4409

Mele, Sylvia, Devereux, Stephen, Pepper, Andrea G, Infante, Elvira and Ridley, Anne J (2018) Calcium-RasGRP2-Rap1 signaling mediates CD38-induced migration of chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells. Blood Advances, 2 (13). pp. 1551-1561. ISSN 2473-9529

Coulter, Eve M, Pepper, Andrea, Mele, Silvia, Folarin, Najeem'deen, Townsend, William, Cuthill, Kirsty, Phillips, Elizabeth, Patten, Piers and Devereux, Stephen (2017) In-vitro and in-vivo evidence for uncoupling of BCR internalization and signaling in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Haematologica. ISSN 1592-8721

Phenotype and immune function of lymph node and peripheral blood CLL cells are linked to transendothelial migration. Pasikowska, M., walsby, E., Apollonio, B., Cuthill, K. M., Phillips, E. H., Coulter, E. M., Longhi, M. S., Ma, Y., Yallop, D., Barber, L. D., Patten, P. E. M., Fegan, C., Ramsay, A. G., Pepper, C., Devereux, S. & Buggins, A. G. S. Blood 2016 Jul 28;128(4):563-73. [IF 11.8]

Phenotypic heterogeneity in IGHV mutated CLL patients has prognostic impact and identifies a subset with increased sensitivity to BTK inhibition.  Andrea G.S. Buggins2*, Chris Pepper1*, Ceri H. Jones1, Elisabeth J. Walsby1, Francesco Forconi3, Guy Pratt4, Stephen Devereux2, Freda K.Stevenson3, Chris Fegan. Leukemia. 2015 Mar;29(3):744-7. [IF 12.1]

The effect of hydroxybenzoate calcium compounds in inducing cell death in epithelial breast cancer cells. Nada M Merghani, Amal Al Hazzaa, Eamon J G Mahdi, Abigail J Manning, Andrea G S Buggins, Chris Pepper, Jassem G Mahdi. Advances in Modern Oncology Research. 2015. Vol1(2) 122-131. 

Development and characterization of a physiologically relevant model of lymphocyte migration in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Walsby E, Buggins A, Devereux S, Jones C, Pratt G, Brennan P, Fegan, Pepper C. Blood. 2014 Jun 5;123(23):3607-17. [IF 11.8]

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