Palmer earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Dundee in 1991, and by 1996 she defended her thesis at the then Imperial cancer research fund in London. The thesis discussed the recently identified family of phosphate-binding proteins (kinases). Her postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute in San Diego between 1996 and 1999 led to the identification of the Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) gene in Drosophila Melanogaster. Palmer then set up her own lap in Sweden as a professor of molecular genetics at Umeå University from 2010 to 2014, after which she was appointed professor at Gothenburg University.
Palmer has led her group to several insights in how the Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene and the MYCN gene interact in various cancers, including neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of tumor that affects almost exclusively children under the age of 2 and accounts for approximately 15% of all deaths in childhood cancer. With her team she has unveiled the signaling pathways of ALK and also was one of the researchers that identified the ligand for the previously orphan receptor.
With several model system Palmer has pioneered neuroblastoma research and been involved in several clinical cases that enabled children to be cured from neuroblastoma.
Awards: 2005 - EMBO Young investigator 2005 - Fernström Award 2005 - Svedberg Award 2016 - Göran Gustafsson award in molecular biology 2019 - Cancer Researcher of the Year
Imperial Cancer Reasearch (Cancer Research UK), London
B.Sc. Biochemistry, 1991