Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences Seminar Series

The Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences holds an internal seminar series each week where prestigious speakers, at both local and international level, are invited to present their research. This leads to collaborative working and a sharing of knowledge. Highlighted below are our speakers:

2024 Speakers

Tuesday 18 June - Dr Yashwanth Subbannayya, Principal Investigator (Dean's Research Fellowship), University of Surrey (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) “Identifying biological mechanisms of gynecological cancers using Systems Biology approaches”

Monday 3 June - Dr Gideon Coster, Group Leader, The Institute of Cancer Research (Host: Professor Jo Morris) “When DNA becomes its own enemy: Reconstitution of DNA-induced replication stalling”

Tuesday 21 May - PhD Student Seminar - Ellie Sweatman (Supervisor: Dr Martin Higgs) “SETD1A-dependent transcription drives PARPi sensitivity in DNA repair deficient tumour cells” and Yara Aghabi (Supervisor: Professor Jo Morris) “Investigating the role of Cyclin F in the BRCA1-response to replication stress” 

Tuesday 14 May - Dr Justin Loke, AACR- CRUK Transatlantic Fellow, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA (Host: Professor Guy Pratt) “Developing CRISPR system-based technologies to study clonal and malignant haemopoiesis.” 

Tuesday 7 May - Dr Ryan Langdon, Postdoctoral Scientist, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France (Host: Dr Claire Palles) “Mendelian randomization: causal evidence via genetic epidemiology”

Tuesday 30 April - Dr Kent Mouw, Department of Radiation Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School (Host: Professor Rik Bryan) “Understanding and Targeting DNA Repair Deficiency in Bladder Cancer”

Tuesday 23 April - Dr Nicholas McGranahan, Principal Research Fellow, University College London (Host: Professor Ferenc Mueller) “Cancer Evolution Beyond the Genome”

Tuesday 19 March - Dr Maria Secrier, Associate Professor in Computational Cancer Biology, University College London  (Host: Dr Claire Palles) “Deciphering the mutational histories of oesophageal adenocarcinomas”

Tuesday 5 March - Professor Ulf Gyllensten, Department of Immunology, Uppsala University, Sweden (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) “Identification of novel biomarkers for gynecological cancer”

Tuesday 27 February - PhD Student Seminar - Gamze Kocak (Supervisor: Dr Sovan Sarker) “Autophagy is required for the development and functionality of lacrimal gland organoids” and Rosanna Wilkins (Supervisor: Professor Eva Petermann) “The role(s) of RNaseH2B in response to different sources of replication stress”

Tuesday 20 February - Dr Karin Slater, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Semantics, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences (Host: Dr Roland Arnold) “Semantic Solutions to Biomedical Problems”

Tuesday 6 February - Richard White, Professor of Genetics, University of Oxford and Ludwig Cancer Research & Associate Faculty Member, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Host: Dr Rui Monteiro) “Melanoma cell fate – from the inside and the outside”

Tuesday 23 January - Professor Skirmantas Kriaucionis, Principal Investigator, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Oxford (Host: Professor Mathew Coleman“DNA modifications, mutational load and replication”

Wednesday 17 January - Joint Instiute of Cancer and Genomics Sciences / Birmingham Centre for Genome Biology Seminar - Ms Tianyi Zhang, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences, London (Host: Professor Ferenc Mueller) “The TF Ikaros suppresses enhancer activity to repress gene expression” 

2023 Speakers

Tuesday 12 December - Dr Alexandra Davies, Lecturer in Cell Biology, University of Manchester (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) “Subcellular spatial proteomics reveals therapeutic targets for neurological disease caused by defects in protein trafficking”

Tuesday 5 December - Dr Vlad Teif, Senior Lecturer, School of Life Sciences, University of Essex (Host: Professor Ferenc Mueller) “Nucleosome repositioning in cancer”

Tuesday 21 November - Dr Faraz Mardakheh, Reader in RNA Biology, Barts Cancer Institute, University of London (Host: Professor Mathew Coleman “Understanding (and exploiting) ribosome biogenesis dysregulation in cancer”

Tuesday 14 November - Dr Abhishek Sharma, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Oxford (Host: Professor Jo Morris) "Exploring DNA damage repair pathways and its convergence with R-loops in cancer"

Tuesday 7 November - Professor Anthony Chalmers, Chair of Clinical Oncology at the University of Glasgow and Director of the CRUK Glasgow RadNet Centre (Host: Professor Colin Watts) “Multifaceted effects of DNA damage response inhibitors on radiation responses of glioblastoma and the normal brain”

Wednesday 1 November - Professor Peter Verrijzer, Head  Department of Biochemistry, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam (Host: Professor Ferenc Mueller) “Chromatin regulation in development and disease”

Tuesday 24 October - Dr Fayyaz Minhas, Associate Professor (AI in Biomedicine), Warwick Cancer Research Centre, University of Warwick (Host: Dr Roland Arnold) “A machine learning journey from Computational Biology to Pathology”

Tuesday 17 October - Dr Felix Chan, Lecturer in Neuroscience, Aston University (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar"Feeding epilepsy: the good and bad energy"

Tuesday 10 October - Dr Marija Maric, Crick Early Career Translation Fellow, The Francis Crick Institute, London (Host: Professor Aga Gambus) “Exploring EXO1 nuclease-dependent cancer vulnerabilities using CRISPR-Cas9 dropout screening”

Tuesday 26 September - Professor Monika Gullerova, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford (Host: Professor Eva Petermann) "The Role of SOSS complex in transcription regulation at double strand breaks"

Tuesday 19 September -  Professor Sarah Blagden, Professor of Experimental Oncology, University of Oxford (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) "The purpose of Precision Prevention Trials"

Tuesday 5 September - Dr Ronan Broderick, Senior Scientific Officer, The Institute of Cancer Research, London (Host: Professor Jo Morris) "Targeting DNA repair at telomeres to treat cancer"

Wednesday 28 June - Dr C S Pramesh, Director, Tata Memorial Hospital / Professor, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) “The National Cancer Grid of India – eliminating disparities in cancer care” (Joint seminar with the Institute of Applied Health Research)

Tuesday 27 June - Dr Maria Chiara Arno, Birmingham Fellow, Assistant Professor in Polymeric Biomaterials, School of Chemistry and Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham (Host: Professor Jo Parish) “Polymers for cells: a journey towards a better understanding of cell behavior” 

Tuesday 13 June - Professor Paul LehnerWellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow, University of Cambridge (Host: Professor Jo Parish) "HUSH – an immunosurveillance system to protect your genome from reverse genetic flow"

Tuesday 6 June - Dr Roland Arnold, Research Fellow/Group Leader, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham / Theme Lead ‘Bioinformatics and Genomics’, Bladder Cancer Centre Birmingham, UK (Host: Dr Roland Arnold) “Translational Genomic and Transcriptomic Challenges in Bladder Cancer” 

Tuesday 16 May - Dr Andreas Karwath, Associate Professor, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) “Artificial intelligence to enhance clinical value across the spectrum of cardiovascular healthcare”

Tuesday 9 May - Professor Ahmed Ahmed, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology, Director of the Ovarian Cancer Cell Laboratory, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar)  “Towards eliminating minimal residual disease in ovarian cancer “

Tuesday 25 April - Dr Mary Clarke, Research Fellow, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham (Host:  Dr Sovan Sarkar) “MYB, proteostasis, and the development of myeloid disease”

Wednesday 19 April - Laetitia Aubry, Associate Professor, I-STEM, France (Hosts: Professor Tim Barrett Dr Sovan Sarkar) “Harnessing pluripotent stem cells derivatives from patients with Wolfram syndrome to reveal pathological mechanisms and identify potential therapeutic chemical compounds”

Tuesday 14 March - Dr Elton ZeqirajSir Henry Dale Fellow, School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Leeds (Host: Dr Aga Gambus) “Chromatin recognition and activity of enzyme complexes involved in DNA repair and replication”   

Tuesday 7 March - Dr Sophie Kellaway, Research Fellow, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) “Leukaemic stem cells hijack lineage inappropriate signalling pathways to promote growth.”

Tuesday 14 February - Professor Jason Parsons, Professor of Radiobiology, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences/School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Birmingham (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) “Examining the comparative radiobiology of photons and different particle ions in models of head and neck cancers and glioblastoma”

Tuesday 7 February - Dr Ruth Thompson, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow, Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield (Host: Dr Aga Gambus) “A SOD1 dependent DNA damage checkpoint.”

Thursday 2 February - Dr Nezha Suzanne Benabdallah, Postdoctoral Fellow, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg (Host: Professor Ferenc Mueller) “Chromatin regulation in tumours and development” 

2022 Speakers

Friday 4 November - Dr Christine Schmidt, Senior Lecturer, Division of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester (Host: Satpal Jhujh) “Understanding and targeting genome stability mechanisms”

Friday 14 October - Dr Molly Ingersoll, Research Director, Mucosal Inflammation and Immunity Group, Institut Cochin & Institut Pasteur (Host: Professor Rik Bryan) “Dissecting immunity in the bladder”

Friday 30 September - Dr Madhu Srinivasan, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar)  “The Mechanism of Mitotic Chromosome Formation and Segregation”

Friday 23 September - Dr Evangelia Petsalaki,  Group Leader, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) (Host: Dr Roland Arnold) Data-driven approaches towards studying context-specific cell signaling”

Friday 16 September -  Professor Kylie Gorringe, Group Leader, University of Melbourne/Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) “Mucinous ovarian carcinoma: a rare and difficult disease”

Friday 9 September - Dr Christopher Bakkenist, Professor of Radiation Oncology, University of Pittsburgh (Host: Dr Marco Saponaro) “The DNA Undamaged Response (DUR): making it possible to synthesize”

Friday 24 June -  Professor Willemien van Driel, Gynaecological Oncologist, Netherlands Cancer Institute (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) “Current role for HIPEC in advanced ovarian carcinoma”

Thursday 9 June - Dr Mark Stoneley, Research Fellow (MRC), MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Cambridge (Host: Dr Mathew Coleman) “Stressed out RNA-binding proteins: from interaction to function” 

Friday 20 May - Dr Philip DunneSenior Lecturer in Molecular Pathology, in the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen’s University Belfast (Host: Dr Roland Arnold)  “Tumour-based discovery using transcriptional data in colorectal cancer”

Friday 6 May - Dr Filipe Crriea Martins, Clinical Lecturer, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) “Understanding chromosomal chaos to treat and prevent high-grade serous ovarian cancer”

Friday 29 April - Dr Gareth BondReader, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham (Host: Dr Mathew Coleman) “Pleiotropic Interactions of Rare Germline Genetic Variants found in Sarcoma and other Cancer Patients in the Genomics England Cohort”

Friday 1 April - Amanda Chaplin, Assistant Professor in Structural, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Leicester Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology, University of Leicester (Hosts: Dr Paloma Garcia and Dr Eva Petermann) “Cryo-EM studies of DNA-repair complexes: DNA-PK and its partners” 

Friday 25 March -  Professor Ruth RobertsChair and Director of Drug Discovery, University of Birmingham/Cofounder of ApconiX (Host: Professor Jo Parish) " Drug Discovery at UOB:  Challenges and Opportunities".

Friday 18 March - Professor Teresa Carlomagno, Professor and Academic Lead of HWB-NMR, School of Biosciences (Host: Professor Pam Kearns) “Why NMR? An integrative structural biology approach to understand functional mechanisms in biological complexes.”

Friday 11 March - Ylva Ivarsson, Professor of Biochemistry, Uppsala University, Sweden (Host:  Dr Roland Arnold)  “Proteome-scale mapping of binding sites in the intrinsically disordered regions of human and viral proteomes” 

Friday 4 March - Dr Eva Frickel, Senior Wellcome Trust Fellow/Reader, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) “The proto-oncogene PIM1 guards bystander cells against self-damage during infection”

Friday 18 February - Evan NochAssistant Professor, Division of Neuro-oncology, Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medicine, USA (Host: Professor Daniel Tennant) “Leveraging mitochondrial redox metabolism for treatment in glioblastoma”

Friday 11 February - Dr Robert Mahen, Cell Biologist, MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge (Host: Dr Gianmarco Contino) “Exploring centrosome assembly mechanisms in healthy and cancerous cells”.

Friday 28 January - Mr Richard Wilkin, Academic Clinical Lecturer/General Surgical Registrar & Dr Elaine Leung, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer (Gynaecological Oncology) (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) “Pancreatic cancer pathways and treatment- results from the first national study”.

Friday 21 January - Professor Shouqing Luo, Professor of Neurobiology, Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health), University of Plymouth (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) “Autophagy and cytotoxicity: a lesson from SQSTM1/p62 liquid droplet formation”.

Friday 14 January - Professor Ruth RobertsChair and Director of Drug Discovery, University of Birmingham/Cofounder of ApconiX (Host: Professor Jo Parish) " Drug Discovery at UOB:  Challenges and Opportunities".

2021 Speakers

Friday 10 December -  Dr Ben Fisher, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Rheumatology, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing and Dr Rowena Sharpe, Director of Precision Medicine Trials, CRCTU, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences (Host: Professor Pam Kearns) “Namilumab or infliximab compared with standard of care in hospitalised patients with COVID-19: results from the CATALYST phase 2 proof-of-concept trial”.

Friday 3 December - Professor Abeer Shaaban, Honorary Professor Cancer and Genomic Sciences/ Consultant Pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) "Breast and ovarian cancer in women of ethnic background- What we know so far".

Friday 26 November - Dr Andreas Karwath, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham (Host: Dr Roland Arnold) "EHR Representation Learning".

Friday 19 November - Professor Terry Rabbitts, Team Leader, The Institute of Cancer Research, London (Host: Professor Conny Bonifer) "Engineering intracellular antibodies for targeted protein degradation of RAS isoforms or the LMO2 transcription complex".

Friday 12 November - Dr Joana Simoes, General Surgery trainee from Portugal/Research Fellow, NIHR Research Unit on Global Surgery, University of Birmingham (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) "Building an international academic career through collaborative research".

Friday 5 November - Professor Alberto Bardelli, University of Turin, Dept. of Oncology and Director of Laboratory Molecular Oncology,  Candiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCS (Host: Dr Chiara Bardella) " High dose Vitamin C and inactivation of DNA repair boost cancer immunotherapy".

Friday 22 October - Dr Viktor Korolchuk, Reader in Molecular Cell Biology, Biosciences Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) "Nutrient response pathways: molecular mechanisms and physiological functions".

Friday 15 October - Mr Aneel Bhangu, Senior Lecturer in Surgery, University of Birmingham/Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, University Hospital Birmingham (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) "The FALCON RCT: A Lancet publication from the NIHR Unit on Global Surgery".

Friday 8 October - Professor Chris Buckley, Director of Clinical Research, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford (Host: Dr Fedor Berditchevski) "The implications of the human cell atlas for targeting Fibroblasts in Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases".

Friday 1 October - Professor Richard J. Gibbons , Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford (Host: Dr Paloma Garcia) " Understanding a disease of chromatin."

Friday 24 September - Dr Alastair Greystoke, Clinical Senior Lecturer/Hon Consultant, Sir Bobby Robson Clinical Trials Unit Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Host: Mr Daniel Slade) "How can we personalise lung cancer treatment?  Issues in trial design and delivery."

Friday 10 September - Professor Philip M. Kim, The Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto, Canada (Host: Dr Roland Arnold) - "Integrated development of peptide and protein therapeutics."

Friday 25 June - Professor Dr M. Cristina Cardoso, Chair of Cell Biology and Epigenetics at the Department of Biology of the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany (Host: Dr Grant Stewart) - “Elementary units of DNA replication and repair: a mirror of chromatin higher order structure?”

Friday 11 June - Professor Syed Hussain, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (Host: Dr Rik Bryan) -  Changing landscape in the management of advanced bladder cancer.” 

Friday 4 June - Dr Alexandros Tzatsos, Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and a member of the Cancer Center at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. (Host: Dr Gianmarco Contino) - “Molecular stratification and targeted therapies for pancreatic cancer.”

Friday 28 May - Dr Luke Yates, Research Associate, Department of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London (Host: Dr Mathew Coleman) - “PIKK-ing apart the DNA damage response: how cryoEM provides a molecular view that rationalises disease mutations and drug design.” 

Friday 21 May - Dr Louise Stone, Senior Editor, Nature Reviews Urology (Host: Dr Rik Bryan) - “What editors want – the Nature of Reviews.”

Friday 14 May - Dr Deena Gendoo, Senior Lecturer in Computational Biology, Centre for Computational Biology (Host: Dr Claire Palles) - “Computational pharmacogenomics to identify cancer and subtype-specific therapies.”

Friday 7 May - Dr John Counsell,Senior Research Fellow at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (Host: Professor Ferenc Mueller) - “Engineering the next generation of genomic medicines.”

Friday 30 April - Prof. Dr. med. Michael Quante, Head of Gastrointestinal Oncology,University of Freiburg, Germany (Host: Dr Claire Palles) - “Lessons from a mouse model of Barrett Esophagus – Translational opportunities in upper GI cancer.”

Friday 23 April - Dr Nicky Whiffin, Sir Henry Dale Fellow and Group Leader, Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford (Host: Dr Claire Palles) - “Understanding the role of non-coding region variants in rare disease.”

Friday 26 March - Dr Ian Groves, Associate Principal Investigator, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge (Host: Dr Jo Parish) - “Novel therapeutic strategies to abate human cytomegalovirus-mediated disease in the transplant setting.”

Friday 19 March - Professor Colin Watts, Professor of Neurosurgery, Chair Birmingham Brain Cancer Program (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) - “Translating the Science of Gliomas: Current Concepts & Future Challenges.” 

Friday 12 March - Professor Esther Moss, Associate Professor in Gynaecological Oncology, University of Leicester (Host: Professor Sudha Sundar) - “Endometrial cancer: The need for personalised treatment.” 

Friday 5 March - Professor Jan Jacob Schuringa, Department of Experimental Hematology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (Host: Professor Conny Bonifer) - “Dissecting clonal heterogeneity in AML.”

Friday 26 February - Professor Gerard Graham, Gardiner Chair of Immunology / Head of the Chemokine Research Group / Interim Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow (Host: Dr Elaine Leung) - Atypical chemokine receptors in biology and pathology.”

Friday 12 February - Dr Kunal Rai, Associate Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center/Scientific Director, MD Anderson Epigenomics Initiative (Host: Dr Sovan Sarkar) - “Exploiting Cancer Epigenome for Precision Medicine.”

Friday 5 February - Professor Steve Smerdon, Professor of Structural Biology, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham (Host: Dr Paloma Garcia/Dr Clare Davies) - “Structural biology at the ICGS: What we are up to and how you can get involved!”

Friday 29 January - Professor Alan Parker, Professor of Translational Virotherapies, Cardiff University (Host: Dr Elaine Leung) - “From basic virology to precision virotherapies: How to train your oncolytic virus.”

Friday 22 January - Professor Marc Peschanski, Director of Research Emeritus at INSERM, Scientific Director of the I-STEM Institute, Scientific Director of the Center for Stem Cell Studies (Host: Professor Timothy Barrett) - “Harnessing pluripotent stem cells for therapies applicable to rare diseases of genetic origin.”

Friday 15 January - Dr Diu Nguyen, Cancer Biology Scientist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute, USA (Host: Dr Rui Monteiro) - "Understanding Post-transcriptional Regulation by RNA-Binding Proteins in Normal and Malignant Stem Cells for Novel Therapeutic Opportunities.”