Professor Andrew Beggs FRCS (Gen), PhD

Andrew Beggs

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Professor of Cancer Genetics & Surgery
Co-Lead - Molecular Oncology, Pathology and Genetics
Deputy Director – Birmingham Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre

Contact details

Address
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
University of Birmingham
Vincent Drive
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

(For clinical referrals please use this address:  Department of Colorectal Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Mindelsohn Way, Birmingham B15 2GW)

Andrew Beggs is a Professor of Cancer Genetics & Surgery in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham. He is also the Deputy Director of the Birmingham Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and Theme Lead for Biomarkers and Liquid Biopsy.  He also is Head of Somatic Cancer in the Central and South Genomic Medicine Service Alliance. He is Co-Lead of the Translational Biology and Genetics research theme within the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences. He is a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute and has recently been awarded an MRC Senior Clinical Fellowship.

Currently funded by multiple industrial partners as well as the MRC, BBSRC, Sarcoma UK and Cancer Research UK, Andrew’s lab research encompasses organoid models of cancer, cancer biology and omics technologies in medicine. He is also a Consultant Colorectal & General Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham with specialist interest in laparoscopic (keyhole) cancer surgery and familial cancer syndromes for which he runs as part of a national service. He is also an honorary consultant surgeon at Birmingham Childrens and Women's Hospitals. 

His major research interests include solid tumour cancer biology and translational medicine. He has published articles in Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Genetics, the BMJ, The Lancet, Gut, Journal of Pathology and PLoS Genetics. He collaborated in writing the European consensus guidelines for the management of Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. 

His laboratory also has interests in method development, holding the IP on long read sequencing of the Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) complex of genes as well as biochemical methods of sensing SNP alleles at room temperature and rapid amplification of RNA (RTF-ExPAR). During the COVID-19 pandemic he became a scientific adviser to the DSHC on COVID-19 diagnostics and is the Chief Clinician of the LFD Digital Read programme. 

For more information, please look at the laboratory website. Andrew carries out and is available for consultancy work through University of Birmingham Enterprise

Qualifications

  • FRCS(Gen) – subspecialty training in Coloproctology, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2016
  • PhD Cancer Genetics, University of London, 2012
  • MRCS (England), Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2006
  • MBBS with distinction Medicine & Surgery, Guys, Kings & St. Thomas’ Hospitals School of Medicine, 2003
  • BSc(Hons) Radiological Sciences (i), Kings College London, 2000

Biography

Andrew qualified from Guy’s, Kings & St. Thomas’ Hospitals School of Medicine, Kings College London in 2003 with distinction, where he also completed a BSc in Radiological Sciences at Kings College London where he carried out research into the use of standardised uptake values (SUV) in 18-fluorodeoxyglucose and 11C-methionine Positron Emission Tomography (18FDG-PET) in quantifying malignant potential in tumours.

Andrew was an Anatomy Demonstrator at Guys Hospital, Kings College London, under supervision of Professor Harold Ellis & Professor Susan Standring (Editor of Grays Anatomy). He then undertook a Basic Surgical Training rotation at St Georges Hospital, London and Kingston Hospital, Surrey, being awarded the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2006.

Andrew started his doctoral research in 2007 when he was appointed a research registrar in Colorectal Surgery at Croydon University Hospital, undertaking research leading to the award of a PhD in the laboratory of Professor Ian Tomlinson at the London Research Institute  of Cancer Research UK, latterly at the University of Oxford. Andrew was also supervised by Professor Shirley Hodgson (St Georges, University of London) and Mr Muti Abulafi (Croydon University Hospital). Subsequent to his research, he was appointed to the higher surgical training scheme in South-West London and Surrey in 2010 as a Specialty Registrar in General Surgery.

He was then appointed as a deanery-funded Academic Clinical Lecturer (ACL) in General Surgery at the University of Birmingham/West Midlands Deanery where he undertook training in General Surgery and subspecialist training in Coloproctology. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellowship for Clinician Scientists and undertook work examining novel determinants of radiosensitivity in rectal cancer. He gained his Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in General Surgery and Coloproctology in October 2016 and was then awarded a Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2017. He was awarded an Alan Turing Fellowship in 2017.  He was appointed as Professor of Cancer Genetics and Surgery in 2020.

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

Andrew has supervised multiple successful clinical and non-clinical PhD and MD projects at Birmingham. He is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Solid tumour genetics/biology
  • Cancer genetics
  • Molecular pathology
  • Next generation sequencing techniques especially nanopore sequencing
  • Cancer bioinformatics
  • Faecal transplantation

Research

Research interests:

Cancer genetics & genomics; omics technologies including nanopore and single cell sequencing; circulating tumour DNA; bioinformatics; organoid models; faecal transplantation, immunogenomics especially HLA typing

Current research projects: 

MOL-SRC: Molecular determinants of radiosensitivity in rectal cancer - exploring the phenomenon of complete response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in rectal cancer using organoid models and omics technologies 

ORB-AZ: Utilising organoid models of cancer to understand the response mechanisms and resistance patterns in immune engager molecules in colorectal, lung and prostate cancer 

International Sarcoma Accelerator Consortium: utilising omics to understand mechanisms of treatment resistance in soft tissue sarcoma and develop new neoadjuvant therapies. 

Oesophageal Cancer Clinical and Molecular Subtyping consortium (OCCAMS): utilising omics to understand the pathogenesis of gastro-oesophageal cancer 

Long read HLA typing: development of IP protected methodology for full length sequencing of the HLA class I, II and III genes using nanopore sequencing 

Nanopore sequencing method development: collaborating with industrial partners to develop new methods of applying long read sequencing to cancer and human biology. 

Current Trials:

 My laboratory acts as scientific leads and carries out the translational scientific research for:

DETERMINE – National Rare Tumours stratified medicine trial – my laboratory is carrying out all the omics for this landmark study 

FOXTROT2/3/4 – neoadjuvant chemotherapy in colorectal cancer 

STAR-TREC – organ preservation in rectal cancer 

ARIEL - A biomarker enrichment trial of anti-EGFR agents in right primary tumor location (rPTL), RAS wild-type (RAS-wt) advanced colorectal cancer (aCRC) 

FARGO – Using FMT to slow the progress of primary sclerosing cholangitis (https://www.pscsupport.org.uk/the-fargo-trial/)

STOP-COLITIS – Using FMT to treat treatment resistance ulcerative colitis 

Other activities

Management & leadership  experience:  

  • College of Medical & Dental Sciences Director of Research Impact & Engagement
  • Deputy Head of Birmingham Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (CRUK)
  • Icelandic Research Foundation – Expert Review/Grant Panel
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Panel A Member
  • Scientific Advisor to the Department of Health and Social Care on COVID-19 testing
  • Cancer Research UK ACRCelerate: Colorectal Cancer Stratified Medicine Network Therapeutic Board member
  • Associate Director of Research (Cancer) – Central and Southern NHS Genomic Medicine Service Alliance
  • NHS England GRAIL Clinical Advisory Board
  • National Cancer Research Institute Colorectal Cancer Clinical Support Group: Full member
  • Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Cancer Prevention Network: Full member
  • Head of GI & Gynae Cancer Tumour Board, West Midlands
  • Association of Coloprotology GB&I Research Board
  • Sarcoma UK Research Advisory Board: Full member
  • GMC Partner & Assessor
  • Past Deputy Chair, Junior Investigators Committee, Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Consortium, Cancer Research UK
  • University of Birmingham Next Generation Sequencing Committee
  • School of Cancer Sciences Research Strategy Committee
  • University of Birmingham High Performance Computing Committee
  • Institute of Cancer & Genomic Medicine Postgraduate Degrees Committee

Industrial partnerships:

  • Bristol-Myers-Squibb Global Immunoncology Advisory Board
  • Bayer Inc. Molecular Pathology Advisory Board
  • Advisory Boards: Tagomics Plc, Check4Cancer Plc.
  • Scientific consultant to Oxford Nanopore Plc
  • Speaker for Illumina Inc.

Editorial boards:

  • Editorial Board – Genomic Medicine, Frontiers in Oncology
  • Associate Editor, Colorectal Disease (2017-2020)
  • Associate Editor - BMC Gastroenterology
  • Section Editor - Frontiers in Genetics

Journal Peer Reviewer:

The Lancet, British Medical Journal, The Journal of Neurological Sciences, British Journal of Surgery, Genes Chromosomes & Cancers, Gastroenterology, Journal of Genetics, European Journal of Human Genetics, Nature Scientific Reports, Colorectal Disease, Nature Protocols, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications 

Grant Peer Reviewer for:

Cancer Research UK; Medical Research Council; Heart UK; Royal College of Surgeons of England; Sarcoma UK; Fondazione AIRC; INCA.fr, Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Fondazione Regionale per la Reicerca Biomedica, Belgian Foundation Against Cancer.

Publications

Refer to publication profile.

View all publications in research portal