About me (and my work)



Who I am


I was initially trained in statistics and moved toward computational biology since I started my PhD (in 2002). My expertise lies at the intersection between statistics, computer science and life sciences.

What I have done

I started my computational biology career with population genetics. My PhD work at the University of Southern California consisted of a combination of methodological work (Approximate Bayesian Computations) and data analysis, with a main PhD paper on ancient admixture in human populations

Following this, I transitioned to the University of Cambridge and the field of medical genetics, where I worked as a postdoc for 3 years in a lab led by John Todd, David Clayton and Linda Wicker on the genetics of type 1 diabetes and more broadly autoimmune disorders. There I combined methodological work, mostly focused on variant/copy number variant calling with a broad range of applications to genetic association studies and experimental follow-up of these findings.

In 2009 I joined University College London as a Lecturer in Statistical Genetics, and became a Reader in 2012. My research group works on a broad range of research questions, typically related to RNA analysis and the way genetics can be used to inform drug design and more generally translational medicine. I also have a key focus on the genetic basis of rare Mendelian disorders as part of the UCL-ex consortium. I have an ongoing collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) on non invasive prenatal diagnostic techniques based on cell free fetal DNA.


What I am doing now

My research has shifted toward a very applied and translational focus. I continue my work on genetic diagnosis of rare Mendelian disorders, in particular with the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and postdoctoral researcher Nikolas Pontikos. I interact with the Royal Free on the immunological mechanisms behind Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD), supervising the PhD of Claire Winship. I also work closely with the UCL Institute of Neurology, in particular Pietro Fratta and Adrian Isaacs, who are also supervising Jack Humphrey's PhD as well as the postdoctoral work of Kitty Lo.

Inivata

From September 2014, I became Head of Computational Biology (and from October 2016, Vice-President, Computational Biology) of a cancer genomics startup called Inivata, in the circulating tumour DNA field. Inivata is based in Cambridge, UK, and is a spin-off from the academic lab of Nitzan Rosenfeld. It builds on a strong academic expertise and delivers molecular assessment of solid tumours using a single blood tube.




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