Professor of Statistics in Bioscience at the University of St Andews

I am an applied statistician/computational biologist working in cancer research, with previous experience of applications in the fields of horticulture, process control, and general medical research. My work spans applied collaboration on cancer genomics studies, through developing new methodologies for analysis and complementing these with innovative experimental designs. 

Cancer Genomics

The UK Prostate ICGC (International Cancer Genome Consortium) study has already made several contributions to our understanding of the disease (see for example Cooper et al. 2015 Nature Genetics, and Gundem et al. 2015 Nature). I am a co-lead on the project with a particular interest in the transcriptome and epigenome, moving forward from the pilot work seen in Massie et al. 2015 Endocrine Related Cancer). 

I am also involved in the Oesophageal ICGC study led by Rebecca Fitzgerald as part of the OCCAMS consortium. This is close to completing its initial aim of cataloguing mutations in 500 cases of Oesophageal Cancer. See Noorani et al. Genome Research 2017, and Weaver et al. Nature Genetics 2014 for more information.

Design and analysis for high-throughput technologies

The last two decades have seen the appearance of a vast number of new technologies for high-throughput molecular biology. As well as methods and software for extracting the most from the data they produce (see e.g. Farmery et al. 2017, Ritchie et al 2011), I am interested in designs that are not only efficient [whatever that means], but have characteristics such as allowing for error detection (see e.g. Lynch et al. 2012). Finally, it is always of interest to try and quantify what we are missing with these technologies.

Other Activities

  • Member of the International Biometric Society
  • Board member of the IBS British and Irish Region
  • Ongoing links to CRUK Cambridge Institute

Former Activities

  • Royal Statistical Society, Conferences and Events Programme Board Member
  • Editorial Advisory Board of Statistical Methods in Medical Research
  • Member of Editorial Board of the Royal Statistical Society News
  • Associate Editor - BMC Cancer
  • Co-organizer of the 2013 and 2015 European Bioconductor Developers Meetings
  • Co-organizer of the 2011 Newton Institute Design of Experiments Programme
  • Co-organizer of the 2011 Cambridge Statistics Initiative Special One Day Meeting
  • Committee Member of Royal Statistical Society Bioinformatics Study Group
  • Member of CR-UK's Translational Research ICAP review panel
  • Team co-leader of a CR-UK Citizen Science Project

  • Bye-fellow/College Teaching Associate in Mathematics/College Lecturer in Mathematics, Downing College, Cambridge
  • Christ's College Cambridge SCR Affiliate