Centre for Cancer Genomics and Computational Biology

In the Centre for Genomics and Computational Biology, we employ unbiased high-throughput sequencing, mass spectrometry and multispectral imaging of tumour samples to gain unique insights into cancer evolution, genetics and cell signalling through from premalignancy to metastatic disease. We are internationally recognised for our work on lymphoma, leukaemia and gastrointestinal cancers, and the creation of computational tools to extract maximum value from Big Data. Our ambition is to see translation of new knowledge into improvements in early cancer detection and precision medicine.

Dr Sarah McClelland, Deputy Centre Lead.

Contact us

Deputy Centre Lead: Dr Sarah McClelland

John Vane Science Centre,
Charterhouse Square,
London EC1M 6BQ

Recent Publications

    • Fluctuating methylation clocks for cell lineage tracing at high temporal resolution in human tissues. Nat Biotechnol (2022) Online ahead of print. PMID: 34980912
    • MultiMAP: dimensionality reduction and integration of multimodal data. Genome Biology (2021) 22(1):346. PMID: 34930412
    • Evolution via somatic genetic variation in modular species. Trends in Ecology & Evolution (2021) 36(12):1083-1092. PMID: 34538501
    • LiquidCNA: Tracking subclonal evolution from longitudinal liquid biopsies using somatic copy number alterations. iScience (2021) 24(8):102889. PMID: 34401670
    • Evolutionary dynamics in Barrett oesophagus: implications for surveillance, risk stratification and therapy. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol (2021) Online ahead of print. PMID: 34728819
    • Improving understanding of cancer in the gender diverse population. Nat Rev Cancer (2021) PMID: 34163047
    • Drug ranking using machine learning systematically predicts the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs. Nat Commun (2021) 12(1):1850. PMID: 33767176
    • KDM5 inhibition offers a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of KMT2D mutant lymphomas. Blood (2021) blood.2020008743. PMID: 33786580
    • Multicentre derivation and validation of a colitis-associated colorectal cancer risk prediction web tool. Gut (2021) gutjnl-2020-323546. PMID: 33990383
    • Inference of Ligand-Receptor Pairs from Single-Cell Transcriptomics Data. Methods Mol Biol (2021) 2346:1-10. PMID: 33625677
    • ACSNI: An unsupervised machine-learning tool for prediction of tissue-specific pathway components using gene expression profiles. Patterns (N Y) (2021) 2(6):100270. PMID: 34179848
    • Reconstructing single-cell karyotype alterations in colorectal cancer identifies punctuated and gradual diversification patterns. Nature Genetics (2021). PMID: 34211178
    • Chromosome Instability through the Ages: Parallels between Speciation and Somatic (Cancer) Evolution. Trends Genet (2021) S0168-9525(21)00131-1. PMID: 34083067

Latest News

    • Congratulations to Helen Hockings, former Clinical Research Fellow in Michelle Lockley’s group, who won The George Cholmeley Cattlin prize awarded by the The Voluntary Hospital of St Bartholomew, for the work conducted during her PhD.
    • Michelle Lockley is leading a clinical study to investigate a new personalised treatment approach for ovarian cancer that has returned after previous chemotherapy, with funding from Barts Charity and the Anticancer Fund. Read more about the ACTOv trial.
    • Vinaya Srirangam Nadhamuni, Clinical Research Fellow in the Centre, has been working on a project to break down language barriers to make information about bowel cancer screening & cervical screening more accessible to minority ethnic groups in the UK. Find out more.
    • Dr Sarah McClelland, awarded a research grant from the BBSRC to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which the transcription factor ZFP64 controls genomic stability.
    • Dr Benjamin Werner, awarded a UKRI Future Leader Fellowship to investigate the evolutionary dynamics of extra-chromosomal DNAs in cancer. Find out more.
    • Ms Faika Laz Banti, awarded a Commonwealth PhD Scholarship to investigate epi-therapies in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
    • Professor Jude Fitzgibbon with colleagues at DFCI and MSKCC was awarded a programme grant by the Lymph&Co Charity on KDM5i Therapeutics in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Find out more.
    • Kinomica Ltd, a spin-out from Professor Pedro Cutillas’ group obtained Funding from Innovate UK
    • Dr Mirjana Efremova, awarded funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative together with scientists from Queen Mary University of London, Newcastle University and Wellcome Sanger Institute to create a Single-Cell Multi-omic and Spatial Cell Atlas of Pediatric Skin.
    • Dr Sarah McClelland, awarded a BBSRC London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Scheme 4-year iCASE PhD studentship, in partnership with Artios Pharma.
    • Professor Trevor Graham, awarded a 5-year CRUK Programme to study colorectal cancer metastasis evolution.
    • Mr Kane Smith, awarded a Bowel Research UK PhD studentship to create a blood test to detect early signs of bowel cancer for people with inflammatory bowel disease.
    • Dr Ana Rio Machin, awarded a Junior Research Grant 2021 by the European Hematology Association to study the mechanisms & therapeutic vulnerabilities of acute myeloid leukaemia driven by the t(6;9) chromosomal translocation.

Areas of focus

Gastrointestinal cancers
Barrett's oesophagus 1 - McDonald lab
Haematological malignancies
FISH DLBCL - Andrew Clear 2
Barrett's oesophagus 2 - McDonald lab
Cancer cell plasticity
Cancer Cell Plasticity_Mirjana Efremova
Cancer genomics and evolution
Blue DNA structure isolated background. 3D illustration
Cell signalling and drug resistance
Mathematical and computational biology
Functional non-coding mutations in cancer
Stem cells in the evolution of metaplasia
Microscope image_crop
Ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer image by Molly Guscott, McClelland Lab

Centre highlights

Since 2016, the BCI’s Haemato-Oncology tissue bank has released 924 vials of primary tissue to researchers from five institutions as part of a CRUK funded Programme on Poor Risk Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. The tissue collection, archiving and allied clinical information was generously supported by an award from the Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital Trust. (Photo, left to right: Adrian Kontor, Tissue Bank Technician, and Ana Rio-Machin, lead lab researcher on the project).

Gabbutt, C., Schenck, R.O., Weisenberger, D.J. et al. Fluctuating methylation clocks for cell lineage tracing at high temporal resolution in human tissues. Nat Biotechnol (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-021-01109-w. CC BY 4.0


Rio-Machin, A., Vulliamy, T., Hug, N. et al. The complex genetic landscape of familial MDS and AML reveals pathogenic germline variants. Nat Commun (2020) 11, 1044. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14829-5. CC BY 4.0


Jackson, SS., Nambiar, KZ., O'Calloghan, S., Berner, AM. Understanding the role of sex hormones in cancer for the transgender community. Trends in Cancer (2022) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trecan.2022.01.005