MBPhD Programme




Sept 2014

Current Position (2018/19):

PhD Research Year 4+

PhD title:

Defining a mechanistic basis of intratumour heterogeneity in non-small cell lung cancer

Principal Supervisor:

Professor Charlies Swanton, Cancer Research UK LRI

Funding Source:

Marie Curie Actions EU PhD fellowship as part of PloidyNet working group.

Description of Project:

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is characterised by late presentation and dismal overall survival. Intratumour genetic and functional heterogeneity has previously been described in NSCLC with evidence supporting the relationship between intratumour heterogeneity (ITH) and poor outcome. TRACERx (TRAcking non-small cell lung Cancer Evolution through therapy (Rx)) is a prospective cohort study of 842 patients with primary NSCLC, which through multi-region and longitudinal tumour analysis, aims to define the evolutionary trajectories of lung cancer in both space and time in relation to selection pressures such as cancer therapies.

The focus of this project is to use bioinformatics approaches to identify branched evolutionary events in NSCLC that may determine increased risk of recurrence and somatic events that promote or sustain on-going cancer genome instability.


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Murugaesu, Nirupa, Gareth A Wilson, Nicolai J Birkbak, Thomas B K Watkins, Nicholas McGranahan, Sacheen Kumar, Nima Abbassi-Ghadi, et al. “Tracking the Genomic Evolution of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Through Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy..” Cancer Discovery 5, no. 8 (August 2015): 821–31. doi:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-15-0412.

Evans, Mark D, Rosanna P Sammons, Sabrina Lebron, Adna S Dumitrescu, Thomas B K Watkins, Victor N Uebele, John J Renger, and Matthew S Grubb. “Calcineurin Signaling Mediates Activity-Dependent Relocation of the Axon Initial Segment..” The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 33, no. 16 (April 17, 2013): 6950–63. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0277-13.2013.


Teaching assistant for PloidyNet Bioinformatics Course, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie