Staff Profiles

  • PhD (Cancer Biology)-Bristol (2012-2016)
  • MSc (Cellular Pathology)-UWE (2011-2012)
  • BSc (Medical Science)-Curtin (2007-2010)

A highly motivated junior faculty and early-career researcher at the University of Botswana, with expertise in Cellular Pathology and Cancer Biology. My academic training and predoctoral research provided me with an excellent background in several disciplines of cancer research and diagnosis, including cytopathology, histopathology, molecular pathology and cancer biology. As a master’s degree student, I undertook research on the role of IGFBP2 and EGFR on triple negative breast cancer. Data from my dissertation contributed to a publication in a major journal of clinical pathology, which I co-authored (PMID: 24515759). As a predoctoral student, my research focused on elucidating the interplay between BRCA1 and IGF-I actions in lipid metabolism in breast cancer. I developed technical experience and expertise in cell and tissue culture methods, PCR, immunoblotting, immunofluorescence, ELISA, immunohistochemistry and subcellular fractionation among others. I have experience with analyzing subcellular contents including DNA, proteins, specific nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions, as well as protein-protein interactions. A first author publication from this work demonstrated a novel role of BRCA1 in breast cancer metabolism beyond the widely known BRCA1 function in maintaining genome integrity (PMID: 30323899). Recently, we have shown the impact of glucose on the BRCA1-mediated regulation of lipogenesis in breast cancer (PMID: 33212987). 

  • Gynaecology cytology
  • Body fluid cytology
  • Cellular Pathology
  • Cancer Biology

  • Investigating established and novel biomarkers for malignancy in body fluid cytology in Botswana
  • The biology of carcinogenesis during HIV infection in Botswana
  • The interplay between BRCA1 and IGF-I in fatty acid synthesis in cancer metabolism
  • Optimising cancer diagnosis in Botswana to improve patient outcomes
  • Anti-cancer properties of metal complexes


  • Optimising cancer diagnosis
  • In vitro cancer modelling
  • HPV-associated Upper Aerodigestive Tract (UADT) malignancies in Botswana
  • BRCA1 mutations in breast cancer in Botswana


  • Cancer biology and metabolism

ePublished research

  1. Koobotse, M. O.; Schmidt D.; Holly, J.M.P.; Perks C.M. Glucose Concentration in Cell Culture Medium Influences the BRCA1-Mediated Regulation of the Lipogenic Action of IGF-I in Breast Cancer Cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020, 21, 8674
  2. Koobotse, M., Holly, J. and Perks, C. (2018) Elucidating the novel BRCA1 function as a non-genomic metabolic restraint in ER-positive breast cancer cell lines. Oncotarget, 9(71), pp. 33562–33576
  3. Dean, S. J. R., Perks, C. M., Holly, J. M. P., Bhoo-Pathy, N., Looi, L.-M., Mohammed, N. A. T., Mun, K.-S., Teo, S.-H., Koobotse, M. O., Yip, C.-H. and Rhodes, A. (2014). Loss of PTEN expression is associated with IGFBP2 expression, younger age, and late stage in triple-negative breast cancer. American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 141(3).

In pursuit of academic excellence