• Room 0G.011 - CCRCB

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

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 output per year

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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. 

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 Leuka 

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 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), Leuka, , Children’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 (Nehmesis)


Acting Deputy Director:  Centre for Biomedical Science Education

Associate Director for Undergraduate Teaching (CCRCB)

Coordinator for the CCRCB Summer School Programme

Module coordinator for Molecular Markers of Disease (BMS3104)

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

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 (2016-2019)

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

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

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Research Output

Validation of Next Generation Sequencing Technologies in Comparison to Current Diagnostic Gold Standards for BRAF, EGFR and KRAS Mutational Analysis

McCourt, C. M., McArt, D. G., Mills, K., Catherwood, M. A., Maxwell, P., Waugh, D. J., Hamilton, P., O'Sullivan, J. M. & Salto-Tellez, M., 26 Jul 2013, In : PLoS ONE. 8, 7, 10 p., e69604.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 85 Citations (Scopus)
    298 Downloads (Pure)

    Oncogenic roles of PRL-3 in FLT3-ITD induced acute myeloid leukaemia

    Park, J. E., Yuen, H. F., Zhou, J. B., Al-Aidaroos, A. Q. O., Guo, K., Valk, P. J., Zhang, S. D., Chng, W. J., Hong, C. W., Mills, K. & Zeng, Q., 03 Sep 2013, In : EMBO Molecular Medicine. 5, 9, p. 1351-1366

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 33 Citations (Scopus)
    270 Downloads (Pure)

    Genome-wide profiling of methylation identifies novel targets with aberrant hyper-methylation and reduced expression in low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes

    Del Rey, B. M., O'Hagan, K., Dellett, M., Aibar, S., Colyer, H. A. A., Alonso, M. E., Díez-Campelo, M., Armstrong, R. N., Sharpe, D. J., Gutiérrez, N. C., García, J. L., De Las Rivas, J., Mills, K. I. & Hernández-Rivas, J. M., 01 Mar 2013, In : Leukemia. 27, 3, p. 610-618

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 27 Citations (Scopus)
    307 Downloads (Pure)

    Molecular similarity between myelodysplastic form of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts

    Gelsi-Boyer, V., Cervera, N., Bertucci, F., Brecqueville, M., Finetti, P., Murati, A., Arnoulet, C., Mozziconacci, M. J., Mills, K. I., Cross, N. C. P., Vey, N. & Birnbaum, D., 01 Apr 2013, In : HAEMATOLOGICA. 98, 4, p. 576-583

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 8 Citations (Scopus)
    288 Downloads (Pure)

    High and low, but not intermediate, PRAME expression levels are poor prognostic markers in myelodysplastic syndrome at disease presentation

    Liberante, F. G., Pellagatti, A., Boncheva, V., Bowen, D. T., Mills, K. I., Boultwood, J. & Guinn, B-A., 02 Jul 2013, In : British Journal of Haematology. 162, 2, p. 282-285

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Chair of the NI Regional Council of the Royal College of Pathologists

    Mills, Ken (Recipient), 14 Nov 2016

    Prize: Election to learned society

    Fellow of RCPath

    Mills, Ken (Recipient), 20 Dec 1999

    Prize: Election to learned society

    QUB Staff Excellence Awards

    Mills, Ken (Recipient), 07 Feb 2020

    Prize: Other distinction



    Ken Mills (Participant)

    10 Jul 201311 Jul 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    British Lymphoma Pathology Group

    Ken Mills (Invited speaker)

    28 Jun 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    NCRI Annual Leukaemia Trials Review Meeting

    Ken Mills (Participant)

    24 Jun 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    NILRF AGM and Annual Scientific Report

    Ken Mills (Contributor)

    19 Jun 2013

    Activity: Consultancy typesWork on advisory panels for social community and cultural engagement

    Press / Media

    Blood Cancer BBC Appeal

    Ken Mills


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Medical Colleges NI

    Ken Mills


    1 item of Media coverage, 1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    DNA Repair Deficincies as a Biomarker for Treatment Response in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

    Author: Crean, C., Jul 2020

    Supervisor: Mills, K. (Supervisor), Scott, C. (Supervisor) & Prise, K. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy