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There are opportunities to investigate molecular mechanisms in myeloid blood cancers including epigenetic alterations, DNA repair deficiency, altered signal pathways to identify therapeutic targets for novel agents or repurposed drugs using drug screens and/or NGS technologies to improve patient outcomes.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


My interests are in translational research in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with the aim of improving diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of therapeutic responses through the identification of novel and repurposed therapies

Research Statement

The molecular and cytogenetic abnormalities in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) are increasingly well defined and these are being implicated in stratification for diagnosis and prognosis.

We have a series of studies being undertaken to identify repurposed therapies to target different sub-groups of adult and paediatric AML; the MuSICAL and the CaUSAL are funded by Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG)/Little Princess Trust

Alongside these, are studies introducing clinically relevant mutations using the CRISPR-Cas mechanism to produce isogenic cell lines to further understand the molecular disruption caused by the mutation.  Our recent direction of research has involved investigating the role of chromatin modeling or DNA repair in sub-cohorts of MDS and AML supported with grants from the LLNI, Leuka and MDS UK

Several studies are being undertaken in collaboration with previous members of the EU funded COST Action on translating genomic and epigenetic studies of MDS and AML (EuGESMA) with partners in 22 countries including Spain,  Denmark, Italy, Germany, Serbia and Finland.

Current funding is from the Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI (LLNI), LeukaChildren’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG)/Little Princess Trust, MDS UK and the Department of Education and Learning (DEL) and with recent funding from Cancer Research UK, Myeloma UKBloodwise, Queen's University Belfast, Cancer Research UK, and the R&D Division of the NI HSC.   The laboratory is  an associated member of the IMI2 funded HARMONY project and a full partner in a recently (2019) awarded Erasmus Plus Knowledge Exchange Network (Nemhesys)


Acting Deputy Director:  Centre for Biomedical Science Education (2017-2020)

Associate Director for Undergraduate Teaching (CCRCB)

Coordinator for the CCRCB Summer School Programme (2015-2020)

Module coordinator for Molecular Markers of Disease (BMS3104) (2017-2020)

Module coordinator for Pathobiology (BMS2023) and Cellular & Molecular Haematology (BMS3009) (2007-2017

Teaching contributions to BMS2023, BMS 2106, BMS3009, BMS3104

Module coordinator for SCM81821 and SCM7046 within both the MSc in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and the MSc in Molecular Pathology


Chair of the Northern Ireland council of the Royal College of Pathologists (2016-2021)

Chair of Scholl Academic Centre, Steering Group (2018-date)

Member of the Manx Health and Bioscience Advisory Board (2017-2019)

REF Advisor for the School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University (2016-2018)

Member of the CCLG Research Advisory Group (RAG) (2021-date)


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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