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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Kate Hughes


I undertook my veterinary training at the University of Liverpool. During my veterinary degree I intercalated in Anatomy and Human Biology and was awarded a first class BSc (Hons). I was a fellow of the Cornell Leadership Program for Veterinary Students in 2001. I graduated as a veterinary surgeon with a BVSc awarded with distinction. Following graduation, I worked as a clinical veterinarian prior to undertaking a Senior Clinical Training Scholarship (residency) in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at the University of Cambridge. At the end of my residency I passed the DipRCPath exams, and when I was eligible, I subsequently passed the FRCPath. After my postgraduate Veterinary Anatomic Pathology training, I secured a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship to study for a PhD in the laboratory of Christine Watson in the Department of Pathology, Cambridge. Following my PhD, I remained in the Watson Laboratory to pursue post-doctoral studies. I have now returned to the Veterinary School and hold a University Lectureship in Veterinary Pathology and an Official Fellowship at Girton College.

Prizes, honours and awards:

2012 Royal College of Pathologists Gold Medal for Trainees in Research.

2015 Zoetis Clinical Research Award.

Research Interests

I study the mammary gland and tumours developing in this tissue. My particular field of interest encompasses the interactions between different cell types within the mammary gland during regression at the end of lactation (mammary gland involution). As a veterinary pathologist, and active diagnostician, I also have wider interests in diagnostic veterinary pathology. I am particularly interested in companion animal neoplasia, especially mammary tumours arising in pet dogs and cats.


  • Molecular Biology
  • Mammary involution
  • Veterinary pathology
  • Mammary glands
  • Macrophage

Key Publications

  1. Scott VHL, Hughes KDiagnosis of equine penile and preputial masses: A clinical and pathological perspective. Equine Veterinary Education. 2015; In press.
  2. Hughes K, Scase TJ, Foote, AK. Estrogen receptor and Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 expression in equine mammary tumors. Vet Path. 2015; 52 (4)631-634. doi:10.1177/030098581455940
  3. Man SM, Ekpenyong A, Tourlomousis P, Achouri S, Cammarota E, Hughes K, Rizzo A, Ng G, Wright JA, Cicuta P, Guck JR, Bryant CE. Actin polymerization as a key innate immune effector mechanism to control Salmonella infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014; 111 (49): 17588-93. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1419925111.
  4. Watson C, Hughes K. Breast cancer: the menacing face of Janus kinase. Cell Death Differ. 2014; 21 (2): 185-6. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2013.170.
  5. Hughes K, Wickenden J, Allen J, Watson C. Conditional deletion of Stat3 in mammary epithelium impairs the acute phase response and modulates immune cell numbers during post-lactational regression. J Pathol. 2012; 227 (1): 106–117. doi: 10.1002/path.3961
  6. Hughes K, Dobson J. Prognostic histopathological and molecular markers in feline mammary neoplasia. The Veterinary Journal. 2012; 194 (1):19-26. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.05.008.
  7. Hughes K, Watson C. The spectrum of Stat functions in mammary gland development. JAK-STAT. 2012; 1 (3): 151–158.
  8. Hughes K, Watson C. The role of Stat3 in mammary gland involution: Cell death regulator and modulator of inflammation. Horm Mol Biol Clin Invest. 2012; 10 (1): 211–215. doi: 10.1515/hmbci-2012-0008
  9. Scase T, Brandt S, Kainzbauer C, Sykora S, Bijmholt S, Hughes K, Sharpe S, Foote A. Equus caballus papillomavirus-2 (EcPV-2): an infectious cause for equine genital cancer? Equine Vet J. 2010; 42(8): 738-45.
  10. Talbot S, Tötemeyer S, Yamamoto M, Akira S, Hughes K, Gray D, Barr T, Mastroeni P, Maskell DJ, Bryant CE. Toll-like receptor 4 signalling through MyD88 is essential to control Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium infection, but not for the initiation of bacterial clearance. Immunology. 2009; 128 (4): 472-83.
  11. Harcourt-Brown TR, Granger N, Smith PM, Hughes K, Jeffery ND. Use of a lateral surgical approach to the femoral nerve in the management of two primary femoral nerve sheath tumours. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2009; 22 (3): 229-32.
  12. Hughes K, Scase TJ, Ward C, Polton GA. Vincristine overdose in a cat: clinical management, use of calcium folinate, and pathological lesions. J Feline Med Surg. 2009; 11 (4): 322-5.
  13. Hughes K, Mueller K. Pathologic lesions of mycotic pneumonia in an alpaca following third compartment ulceration. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2008; 20 (5): 672-5.