Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Aled Clayton

Yr Athro Aled Clayton

Senior Lecturer

Yr Ysgol Meddygaeth

+44 29225 10589
Adeilad Tenovus, Ystafell GF16, Ysbyty Athrofaol Cymru, Parc y Mynydd Bychan, Caerdydd, CF14 4XN
Siarad Cymraeg
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


I am part of the Tissue Microenvironment Group, School of Medicine, Cardiff University which is a collection of diverse and international researchers with a multidisciplinary approach to science.

My own specialist insterst involves studies of cell-derived vesicles. This is now a rapidly growing and exciting area of biology, but we have been able to establish some expertiese in this field since the early 2000's. The group has published well over 90 papers, most in relation to vesicles, and their roles in subverting immune responses, in controlling the cancer microenvironment and as potential disease biomarkers.

I am interested in understanding the mechanisms by which vesicle biogenesis and secretion is controlled, and the impact such vesicles have on the development and progression of cancer; particularly focussing on prostate cancer. Developing tools and assays to quantify nano-vesicles in biological fluid specimens is also an important aspect of the group's activities.

Although my main focus is in cancer biology, I collaborate broadly with researchers in Cardiff including those in the schools of dentistry, engineering  and optometry, and interact with other Universities, on aspects including cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and other conditions that impact our society in significant ways.
































We are interested in understanding how cells produce small fat-bubbles (vesicles), and why they seem to do this so extensively. Our studies focus on the role of such bubbles in changing the immediate surroundings of the cancer tissue. it seems these bubbles (exosomes) can interfere with the correct function of immune cells, they can encourage formation of blood vessels, and can hijack other neighbouring cells to behave abnormally- all of these effects assist the growth and ultimate spread of the tumour.

We can also detect exosomes in the urine and blood of cancer patients, and we are working hard on developing new methods to isolate exosomes from biological fluids, and to use these as means of discovering new indicators of disease. We have examined the complex array of protein molecules on the vesicles, and are beginning to also look at RNA-molecules, which hide inside the bubble.

Together, these studies will provide much needed information about how the cancer cells can dominate and take-over their microenvironments. Learning how to block these effects is likely to be very useful therapeutically. Pperhaps we can also use the presence of exosomes in urine/blood as future tests to support diagnoses and monitoring of cancer.

Funding sources

  • Cancer Research Wales, Programme grant:
  • Movember: The Movember Revolutionary Team Award
  • Prostate Cancer UK: British Heart Foundation:
  • British Lung Foundation:
  • CU & ReNeuron:
  • Tenovus Cancer Care:
  • Welsh Assembly Government NRN Sêr Cymru Award:


Intercalated BSc and Pharmacology degrees:

  • Develop and mark lab-based reseach projects.
  • Mark student research presentations

College of Biomedical Life Science

  • MSc in Cancer Biology (2016)

Postgraduate Students

Primary Supervisor:

  • Mr Vincent Yeung (2013- end 2016), co-supervisor Dr Jason Webber
  • Mr Alex Cocks (2015-2018), co-supervisors Prof. Arwyn T Jones (PHRMY) and Dr Peter Watson (BIOSCI)


  • Mr Rhodri Thomas (Vesicle RNA in Alzheimer's Disease), supervised with Prof Julie Williams
  • Miss Donna Mathews (Vesicles in Cardio Vascular Disease), supervised with Dr Aled Rees & Prof Philip James
  • Mr Robert Knight (Vesicles in wound healing), supervised with Prof Philip Stephens and Dr Julie Albon
  • Mr Ben Lanning (micro RNA and vesicles in cancer), supervised with Dr Alwyn Dart & Dr Bronwen Evans

additional contributions through collaborative interactions with PhD candidates

  • Miss Hope Roberts Dalton, (PHRMY), supervised by Prof Arwyn T Jones.


Career overview

  • Snr Lecturer (08/2013-present), Division of Cancer & Genetics, Cardiff University
  • Lecturer; (08/2004 to 07/2013), School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • Research Fellow (01/1999 to 07/2004) School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • Research Fellow, (10/1996 to 12/1998) School of Medicine, Cardiff University

Education & qualifications

  • 1997: PhD (Medicine), Institute of Nephrology, University of Wales College of Medicine.
  • 1998: Diploma in Biomedical methods, University of Wales College of Medicine.
  • 1993: BSc (Hons) Biochemistry,  University of Wales College Cardiff

Anrhydeddau a dyfarniadau

  • Visiting Professor for the Finish Government inFlames Programme at the university of Turku  https://inflames.utu.fi

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

External Committees

  • 2015-2017: NCRI Clinical Studies Group - Molecular Biomarkers Advisory Group
  • 2015- United Kingdom Extracellular vesicle Forum, annual conference organiser and co-organiser 2014, 2016 ongoing.
  • 2016- International Society for Extracellular vesicles, Annual Conference Local Organising Committee, Rotterdam
  • 2016-2017- Organising Committee, Royal Society Discussion Meeting, EV in the Cancer Microenvironment, London 2017.

PhD Examiner

  • 2017. External Examiner, PhD St Andrews
  • 2016. External Examiner, PhD Leicester University
  • 2015. Second Opponent, PhD Oslo, Norway
  • 2014. External Examiner, PhD Oxford Brookes
  • 2013. Internal Examiner, PhD, Cardiff


Meysydd goruchwyliaeth

The team are very interested in persuing studies related to

  • nano-vesicle measurements/analytics
  • vesicle-mediated intercellular comunication including drug-delivery applications
  • vesicles in basic cancer biology that may include immunological functions, and roles in modulating cancer associated fibroblasts
  • the utility of vesicles as cancer markers (particularly in prostate cancer).

PhD Supervisor:

  • Miss. Mariama Mbengue, co-supervised with Dr Jason Webber & Prof. Rachel Errington

Undertaking an investigation of intracellular factors controlling secretion of vesicle subsets, and the consequence of attenuating some of these on vesicle-mediated intercellular communication.

  • Miss. Jasmine Owen, co-supervised with Dr Helen Pearson (ECSCRI, BIOSCI)

Undertaking an investigation of stromal cells in Prostate Cancer

  • Mr. Keran Hodson, co-supervised with Dr Toby Phesse (ECSCRI, BIOSCI)

Investigating contributions of vesicles to Wnt-signalling in cancer.