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Division of Molecular Pathology

The Division of Molecular Pathology is focused on understanding the molecular alterations important in the development and progression of cancer, and in determining how the disease responds to treatment. The goal is to translate advances in the molecular characterisation of tumours into approaches to successfully implement personalised cancer treatment.

Current vacancies

Cells on glass slides

The division consists of groups investigating a number of tumour types, including breast prostate, paediatric, skin and blood cancers. Researchers are comprehensively characterising the molecular features of cancer, and through strong links with other colleagues elsewhere in The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, aim to establish new molecular diagnostics and novel molecular therapeutic targets in cancer.

Researchers in the division have successfully developed personalised medicine strategies for blood cancers – myeloma, leukaemia and lymphomas. They are now looking to do the same for breast and paediatric cancers, along with rarer cancers, such as soft-tissue sarcomas for which few treatments are available.

Researchers are also examining changes in the cancer epigenome to provide understanding of tumour development and response to treatment; and using deep sequencing technologies to identify specific molecular alterations that lead to drug resistance not only in individual tumours, but in specific metastatic sites.

Head of Division

Professor Chris Jones

Professor Chris Jones

Interim Head of Division

Chris Jones is the Interim Head of Division for Molecular Pathology and heads the Glioma Team whose research aims to find the genes which drive the development of childhood brain tumours. He is Professor of Childhood Brain Tumour Biology, and Preclinical Chair of the international CONNECT consortium.

+44 20 3437 6171 ORCID 0000-0001-8118-2296

Research groups

Acute Leukaemia

Group leader: Dr David Taussig

The Acute Leukaemia Team aims to develop new therapeutic strategies for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a disease with a poor outcome for many patients. The team focuses on improving understanding of the disease through studies on leukaemia stem cells and their interactions with normal haematopoietic stem cells.

Biology of Childhood Leukaemia

Group leader: Sir Mel Greaves

Professor Mel Greaves’ Biology of Childhood Leukaemia Group is funded by The Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and seeks to uncover the causes of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Chronic Lymphoid Malignancies: Clinical Trials and Translational Research (El-Sharkawi)

Group leader: Dr Dima El-Sharkawi

Dr El-Sharkawi's team researches chronic lymphocytic leukemia, rare leukaemias and lymphomas as well as early phase trials and drug development.

Computational Pathology and Integrative Genomics

Group leader: Professor Janet Shipley

The Computational Pathology and Integrative Genomics Team works to reconstruct two-dimensional or three-dimensional tumour models from images of tumour sections. Previously led by Professor Yinyin Yuan, it is now led Professor Janet Shipley as interim.

Evolutionary Genomics and Modelling

Group leader: Professor Andrea Sottoriva

Professor Andrea Sottoriva’s Evolutionary Genomics and Modelling Team uses biological, clinical and mathematical expertise, in order to decipher how cancer progresses, metastasises and develops treatment resistance.

Evolutionary Immunogenomics

Group leader: Dr Luis Zapata Ortiz

Dr Luis Zapata Ortiz leads a dedicated research team focusing on advancing our understanding of the immune system's role in genetic variability and its implications for disease, cancer and ageing.

Genomics and Evolutionary Dynamics

Group leader: Professor Trevor Graham

Professor Trevor Graham's group harnesses artificial intelligence and the principles of evolution with the aim of improving cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.


Group leader: Professor Chris Jones

Dr Chris Jones’ Glioma Team investigates ways to translate basic molecular pathology findings into improved clinical outcomes for children with cancer.


Group leader: Professor Kamil Kranc

The central aim of Professor Kamil Kranc's team is to discover the key mechanisms regulating leukaemic stem cell (LSC) biology and harness this knowledge to selectively eradicate LSCs, thus pioneereing novel and efficient leukaemia therapies.

Integrated Pathology

Group leader: Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez

Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez' team aims to create new clinical research and diagnostic paradigms for morpho-molecular integration.

Molecular and Systems Oncology

Group leader: Dr Paul Huang

The Molecular and Systems Oncology uses systems biology approaches, in particular mass spectrometry-based proteomics, to characterise cancer signalling networks for biomarker and target identification. Their research focuses on investigating cancer drug resistance, the functional assessment of driver mutations in cancer genes and developing tools for the proteomic profiling of tumour specimens.

Paediatric Solid Tumour Biology and Therapeutics

Group leader: Professor Louis Chesler

Dr Louis Chesler’s Paediatric Tumour Biology Group is investigating the genetic causes for the childhood cancers, neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.

Preclinical Modelling of Paediatric Cancer Evolution

Group leader: Dr Alejandra Bruna

The group is studying the phenotypic changes occurring through treatment to explore modulation of transcription dynamics as a therapeutic strategy in aggressive solid paediatric cancers.

Sarcoma Molecular Pathology

Group leader: Professor Janet Shipley

Professor Janet Shipley’s Sarcoma Molecular Biology Team is investigating ways to improve the treatment of patients with soft tissue sarcomas associated with poor clinical outcome.

Systems and Precision Cancer Medicine

Group leader: Dr Anguraj Sadanandam

Dr Anguraj Sadanandam’s Systems and Precision Cancer Medicine Team is investigating methods to classify pancreatic-, colorectal-, breast- and multiple other cancer patients into clinically relevant subgroups.

Tumour Functional Heterogeneity

Group leader: Dr Marco Bezzi

Dr Marco Bezzi's group uses genome editing technologies, mouse models, organoid cultures and mass cytometry-based single cell approaches to experimentally model the cancer ecosystem and to investigate how tumour heterogeneity can be controlled and exploited in light of evolution.