Frozen samples

Contact

Group lead
Dr Jonathan Krell
j.krell@imperial.ac.uk

Disease areas

What we do

Our research relates to cancer genetics, polygenic risk and the interface between germline and somatic mutations, especially related to TP53 and BRCA. We also have a strong interest in the role of tumour and circulating small non-coding RNAs as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers and as therapeutic modalities. This focuses on the areas of gynaecological and pancreatic malignancies and there is a strong translational research element to our work

Why it is important

Early detection of cancer is key to improving survival. We aim to enhance our knowledge in this area and improve understanding of cancer risk and how best to implement genetic risk assessment in the general population and the cancer clinic. Secondly, we aim to understand the potential use of small non-coding RNA analysis from tissue and 'liquid biopsies' to enable us to detect cancer earlier, especially in high-risk patients and to stratify treatments.

How it can benefit patients

Identifying cancer risk markers and novel risk algorithms will allow patients access to affordable, sustainable methods of determining risk and to employ appropriate risk prevention measures. Additionally, the discovery of less invasive, more sensitive early detection platforms, especially in high-risk individuals should lead to better survival outcomes. Furthermore, identifying novel miRNA therapeutics will provide new approaches to cancer treatment.

Summary of current research

  • Investigating the use of polygenic risk scores to guide cancer screening and prevention strategies with the aim of implementing them on a national scale
  • Studying the role of miRNAs as biomarkers and therapeutic agents in ovarian and pancreatic cancer
  • Investigating the role of small non-coding RNAs in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation in pancreatic cancer
  • Assessing the role of germline mutation and SNP testing in the cancer clinic
  • Studying the potential of oral administration of commensal microbiota in cancer patients as a therapeutic strategy

Connections

Collaborators

Patients

For patient-related information please see:

Clinical trials

We participate in a number of translational research projects, particularly those being undertaken in the Gynaecology Oncology and Pancreatic Cancer unit in the Gary Weston Centre. These focus on the use of tumour and circulating molecules as prognostic, predictive and diagnostic biomarkers. We are particularly interested in small non-coding RNAs and RPPA analysis as well as the role of germline genetic mutations and SNPs as a means to better understanding cancer risk and prevention strategies.

PhD students

When we have funding for PhD studentships, we advertise them through central channels such as Find a PhD. Information is also available on the Surgery and Cancer study page. If no studentships are currently advertised, please get in touch with the group lead with proposed project titles to discuss further. 

Current PhD students:

  • Miss Mireia Mato-Prado
  • Mr Phillip Lawton

Our researchers