Dr Anne Savage


School School of Science, Engineering and Technology

Department Division of Science

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8139



BSc (Hons) (1987) Dept of Pharmacolgy, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Ph.D. (1990) Dept of Biochemistry, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 1QW
PgD  (1995) Analytical Chemistry, Glasgow Caledonian University
Diploma in Computing Science (2000) Open University
PG.Cert (H.E) (2012) Abertay University and Dundee University
Diploma in Statistics (Due to complete June 2013) Open University

Previous posts

Daphne Jackson Fellowship (EPSRC funded). (Sept 2009-Sept 2011)

Centre for Research in Systems Pathology University of Abertay Dundee. Predicting length of stay in NHS acute wards from previous admission records. A modelling approach using data visualization.

Career break (1999 – 2009)  Freelance programming, data analysis and publishing contracts

Post-Doctoral Reseacher (1995-1998) Caledonian Environment Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Post-Doctoral Researcher (1992-1994) Dept of Biochemistry, University of Glasgow.

Wellcome Trust Travel Fellowship (1990-1991) Dept of Pharmacology and Endocrinolgy, CNRS-INSERM, Montpellier, France. 

Currently I teach pharmacology on the following modules:

HS0907A; HS0917A; HS0916A; HS1006; HS0902

and statistics on these modules

FC0701A; BI0806A and FS0951A.

I also help out on BI0701A, BI0803A and BI0804A.

My research involves the use of image analysis techniques to relate morphological changes in breast cancer to disease classification and progress. This work is carried out in collaboration with Breakthrough Research Unit at the Western General Hospital,  Edinburgh. 

In cancer, morphological assessment of histological tissue samples is key to both diagnosis and prognosis. Traditional methods of analysing histological images introduces degree of subjectivity to the assessment but image analysis techniques are able to support these

assessments through quantitative metrics of morphology. Generally morphometric analysis is implemented on two-dimensional tissue sections data but this only represents a small fraction the tumour. Recent work carried out in collaboration with the Breakthrough research Unit, Edinburgh developed a  novel application of three-dimensional (3D) morphometrics for 3D imaging data obtained from tumours grown in a culture model. Minkowski functionals, a set of measures that characterise geometry and topology in ndimensional space were used to quantify tumour topology in the absence of and in response to therapeutic intervention(i.e. tamoxifen). The HER2 status of a tumour was  found to 
predict the changes in morphological measures other than volume as a result of tamoxifen treatment ex vivo. In this study, we also demonstrated that Minkowski functionals may be also be useful in predicting tumour grade.


Current work on 2-D images focuses on the morphology of breast cancer spheroids and the development of a range of measures derived from image analysis techniques that may be capable of discriminating between hormone receptor status and drug efficacy.

Savage, A,  Katz, E, Eberst, A, Ruth E. Falconer, R.E.Houston,A David J. Harrison, D.J.  and  Bown, J. (2012 Characterising the tumour morphological response to therapeutic intervention. )  Dis. Model. Mech. August 10, 2012, doi: 10.1242/dmm.009886

I. MacLeod, A.L. Savage, O. Pahl, J. Baird (2008) Decline in microbial activity does not necessarily indicate an end to biodegradation in MSW-biowaste: A case study Bioresource Technology 99: (8626–8630)

MacLeod, A.L. Savage, O. Pahl and J. Baird, (2007),  Problems encountered during sampling MSW-biowaste CWRM, Journal of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management 8: (63–68)

Savage A.L., Sarijo, S.H. and Baird, J. (1998) A novel screening method for tetracycline in milk combining sensitized-Eu(III) fluorescence and immunoaffinity techniques. Analytica Chimica Acta 375: (1-4)

A Savage, L Zeng and M D Houslay (1995) A role for protein kinase C-mediated phosphorylation in eliciting glucagon desensitization in rat hepatocytes. Biochem. J.307: (281–285)

Houslay,M.D., Morris,N.J., Savage,A., Marker,A. and Bushfield,M. (1994) Regulation of hepatocyte adenylate cyclase by amylin and CGRP: A single receptor displaying apparent negative co-operativity towards CGRP and simple saturation kinetics for amylin, a requirement for phosphodiesterase inhibition to observe elevated hepatocyte cyclic AMP levels and the phosphorylation of Gi-2Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 55 (Supplement) (66-82)

Bushfield,M., Savage,A., Morris,N.J., and Houslay,M.D. (1993) A mnemonical or negative co-operativity model for the activation of adenylyl cyclase by a common G-protein coupled CGRP/amylin receptor. Biochemical Journal 293: 229-236

Savage, A.L., Daro, F. and Guillon, G. (1993) Involvement of protein kinase C in the first step of vasopressin sensitive phospholipase C homologous desensitization. Biochemistry (Life Sci. Adv.) 12:(121-138)

Guillon, G., Mouillac, B. & Savage, A. L. (1992) Modulation of Hormone-Sensitive Phospholipase C Cell. Signalling 4:(11-23)

A L Savage, M Biffen and B R Martin (1989)   Vasopressin-stimulated Ca2+ influx in rat hepatocytes is inhibited in high-K+ medium. Biochem. J. 260:(821–827)

More Information


Melville Trust Vacation Scholarship in Cancer Research (2012)

Daphne Jackson Fellowship (2009-2011)


Women in Science Festival 2012 1st - 19th March:  Introductory  talk: 'Returning to a career in science after a career break'.

The Big Bang Scotland 12th June 2012: Project Judge

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Keith Sturrock

Dr Keith Sturrock

Division of Science | Lecturer

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Dr Kimberley Bennett

Dr Kimberley Bennett

Division of Science | Senior Lecturer

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