CRUK Birmingham Centre Staff

These core posts are designed to create a coordinated infrastructure that builds on key technologies and approaches to catalyse clinically-aligned discovery science in Cancer Genomics, Cancer Immunology, and Viral Oncology, driving development and translation of novel targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and stratification approaches. The infrastructure will also provide expertise critical to development of nascent stratified medicine approaches across the CRUK Centre network.

Centre Manager - Claire Fenlon

Claire support the aims of both CRUK and the Centre by ensuring the operational delivery of the CRUK Birmingham Centre research agenda, working closely alongside Centre leads (Prof Willcox, Scientific Director, Prof Middleton, Clinical Director) and the Centre Management Grouping to coordinate and oversee key activities, including the Centre PhD training programme, the Centre infrastructure posts, and the Centre Development Fund.  She also works closely with the Birmingham ECMC to ensure coordinated delivery of objectives and maximisation of synergistic interactions between the Centre and ECMC.

Bioinformatician - Dr Boris Noyvert

Boris provides bioinformatics support and training to the CRUK centre researchers. His expertise is in next generation sequencing data analysis. Boris offers advice and support on study design, processing, analysis and integration of data from various cancer genomics assays, such as DNA-seq and RNA-seq. This post is affiliated to the Centre for Computational Biology (CCB).

Biostatistician - Yi Pan

Yi will lead on longitudinal data analysis, survival data analysis, design studies, recommend technology-based solutions or determine computational strategies and will design experiments and analyse the corresponding large molecular datasets such as next generation sequencing (DNASeq, RNASeq, ChipSeq), microarray, methylation and proteomic data, for clinical or basic research purposes.

He is responsible for the creation / modification of web-based bioinformatics tools, improving user interfaces to bioinformatics software and databases, and manipulate publicly accessible, commercial or proprietary genomic, proteomic or post-genomic databases. Yi will also compile data for use in activities such as gene expression, profiling, genome annotation and structural bioinformatics and provide statistical and computational tools or biologically based activities such as genetic analysis and gene function determination.  

Translational Genomics Scientific Officer - Claire Bryer

Claire provides scientific support to Centre groups in next generation sequencing assays, with a focus on both DNA & RNA sequencing. The genomics core facility within the IBR complex has access to a diverse array of relevant platforms including NextSeq 500, MiSeq, Fluidigm, Oxford Nanopore PromethIon and 10X Genomics Chromium instrumentation and automated methods are in development using the Hamilton Star robot. There are also dedicated cell culture facilities, microscopy facility as well as extensive experience across the Centre in CRISPR/Cas9 experimental design and delivery for cancer genetics projects.

Immunomonitoring Scientific Officer Dr Saly Al-Taei

Saly’s work will be focused on developing and applying cellular immunomonitoring methods for CRUK Birmingham Centre groups and industry collaborators.  She is a key link with the Human Biomaterials Resource Centre (HBRC), an HTA licensed, ethically approved human sample biorepository, which resides within the Advanced Therapies Facility (ATF) in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.

Saly is also integrated within the Clinical Immunology Service and Institute of Translational Medicine laboratories to ensure coordinated development of immunomonitorying procedures across the Centre. Efforts will focus on development of specialised immunomonitoring procedures related to novel immunotherapy approaches and conducted to laboratory Good Clinical Practice standards.

Techniques will include (but are not limited to) extensive immune phenotyping (flow and CYTOF mass cytometry), cell sorting, ELISA, HLA-typing, TCR sequencing and functional assays (e.g. ELISPOT, proliferation and cytotoxicity), in addition to assays tailored to researchers needs. This post aims to facilitate translational research through to trial monitoring and stimulate academic and industry collaborations. The ultimate goal is to establish Birmingham as a centre of excellence for immunomonitoring in the cancer space.

Digital Pathology Analyst - Kelly Hunter

Kelly is responsible for developing the application and expansion of digital analysis methods to immune-phenotyping within the Centre, supporting the identification and clinical validation of predictive biomarkers and facilitating the transition of academic studies into clinical trials. This involves analysis of images from immunohistochemistry, multispectral immunofluorescence, and in situ hybridisation approaches. Kelly works closely with Centre research groups, clinicians and colleagues in the Human Biomaterials Resource Centre (HBRC) to optimise and validate digital pathology analysis methods as well as contributing to UoB / industry projects.

Immunohistochemistry and Imaging Support Officer – Amy Hadley-Garry

Amy is responsible for the provision of expert and specialist cancer-specific immunochemistry (IHC) and image analysis, providing advice on experimental design and methodology, delivery of optimisation, validation and analysis services, and results interpretation. Her main focus will be using solid tumours from cancer patients but may also encompass some work on pre-clinical models (e.g. images of mouse tumour material and primary human tumour cell lines), with the emphasis on the provision of high quality, fully validated and automated immunohistochemistry, multiplex immunofluorescence, and in situ hybridisation services to enable immune-phenotyping and monitoring.

Pathologist – Dr Abeer Shaaban

The CRUK Birmingham Centre core infrastructure includes pathology support to Centre investigators provided by Dr Abeer Shaaban, Consultant Pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The pathologist offers advice on tissue selection, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, multiplex staining and use of tissue controls. Abeer also supports multiplex digital analysis using the Vectra system and provides a link where required with the Pathology department at UHB.