Dr Alice Lapthorn

Research Fellow

Medical Technology Research Centre, Fibrosis research group

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care
School of Allied Health and Social Care
Research Supervision:

Alice is a Research Fellow in the ARU's Fibrosis Research Group, part of the Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC). Her research focusses on assay development to find drugs for the prevention of fibrosis. 

[email protected]


Alice obtained her BSc in Biomedical Science from Queen Mary, University of London, where her final year research project investigated the role of PI3K signalling in Crohn’s & Colitis. Following this, she started her PhD in 2017 at Anglia Ruskin University, where her research focussed on using phenotypic screening to identify novel medicines to prevent hypertrophic scar formation. This project has led to a patent for the repurposing of a drug for hypertrophic scarring.

Now a postdoctoral researcher, Alice is continuing her work in phenotypic screening and is currently carrying out assay development for several fibrotic disorders (e.g. intra-abdominal adhesions and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) in collaboration with Portsmouth Hospitals and Mid & South Essex NHS Trusts. Alice is still focusing on her dermatological research, with the hope to take the drug she identified in her PhD into clinical trials for prevention of hypertrophic scars. Further, the Fibrosis Research Group are collaborating with AstraZeneca to screen their annotated compound library in the assay Alice developed as part of her PhD.

Research interests
  • Fibrosis and fibroproliferative disorders

  • Phenotypic drug discovery and assay development

  • Hypertrophic and keloid scarring

  • Wound Healing

Areas of research supervision
  • Cell biology
  • Pharmacology and drug discovery
  • PhD Medical Science, Anglia Ruskin University (2021)
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science, Queen Mary, University of London (2017)
Memberships, editorial boards
  • British Society for Investigative Dermatology, member since 2022
  • British Pharmacological Society, member since 2018
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • Guts UK Early Career Researcher Development Grant, 2022-2023 (£15,000)
  • British Skin Foundation Small Grant, 2022-2023 (£9,984.42)
Selected recent publications

Alice R. Lapthorn, Marcus M. Ilg, Justine V. Sullivan, Peter Dziewulski and Selim Cellek. Phenotypic screening identifies hydroxypyridone anti-fungals as novel medicines for the prevention of hypertrophic scars. European Journal of Pharmacology. 2022;937:175374. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2022.175374

Marcus M. Ilg, Alice R. Lapthorn, David J. Ralph, and Selim Cellek. Phenotypic screening of 1,953 FDA-approved drugs reveals 26 hits with potential for repurposing for Peyronie’s disease. PLOS One. 2022;17(12), e0277646. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277646

Recent presentations and conferences

Lapthorn, A (2023). Hydroxypyridone anti-fungals as novel therapeutics for hypertrophic scar prevention.  International Society for Burn Injuries, Scars A-Z (Birmingham, UK).

Lapthorn, A (2022). Investigating if hydroxypyridone anti-fungals can target established myofibroblasts in an in vitro model of hypertrophic scarring.  European Society for Dermatological Research Annual Meeting (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

Lapthorn, A (2022). Investigating if hydroxypyridone anti-fungals can target established myofibroblasts in an in vitro model of hypertrophic scarring. Danish Research Foundation – Extracellular Matrix Pharmacology Congress (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Lapthorn, A (2022). Hydroxypyridone anti-fungals display anti-fibrotic effects in in vitro models of hypertrophic scarring. British Society for Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting (Newcastle, UK) and British Association of Dermatologists Annual Meeting (Glasgow, UK).

Lapthorn, A., 2021. Using phenotypic screening to identify novel treatments for fibrotic disorders. British Society of Matrix Biology Spring Meeting (online).

Lapthorn, A., 2021. High-throughput screening reveals 90 hits that can inhibit myofibroblast transformation in an in vitro model of dermal scarring. British Society for Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting (online).

Lapthorn, A., 2020. Screening of 1,954 FDA-approved drugs reveals 90 hits with anti-myofibroblast activity using an in vitro model of cutaneous scarring. British Pharmacological Society Annual Meeting, Pharmacology 2020 (online).

Lapthorn, A., 2019. Development of a high-throughput, cell-based phenotypic assay to identify novel anti-fibrotic medicines to prevent scar formation after burn injury. Society for Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting (Chicago, USA).