Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Head of Division of Cancer / Chair in Translational Oncology



+44 (0)20 7594 1804b.brown Website




Mrs Isabel Thapa +44 (0)20 7594 2792




Institute of Reproductive and Developmental BiologyHammersmith Campus





Professor Robert Brown is Chair in Translational Oncology in the Department of Surgery and Cancer within the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College, where he heads the Epigenetics Unit and is Head of Division of Cancer. His post is a joint appointment between Imperial College London and Institute of Cancer Research where he is Professor of Translational Oncology in the Section of Medicine. Robert (Bob) is Principal Investigator of Cancer Research UK research programme, Drug Resistance and Epigenetics, Investigator in the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre and co-Principal Investigator CRUK/NIHR Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. 

Professor Brown’s work focuses on epigenetics and drug resistance research, with a particular focus on ovarian cancer. He examines how tumours acquire resistance to chemotherapy and approaches to improving treatment by overcoming drug resistance. He and his team have shown that aberrant DNA methylation and epigenetic silencing of genes in tumours can predict response to chemotherapy and patient survival. He is using genome-wide array and sequencing based methods to identify epigenomic signatures and novel loci associated with clinical outcomes. As part of his work, Robert is also facilitating development of compounds which can reverse epigenetic silencing and is using molecular biomarker assays to aid the clinical use of these compounds. Further, he is identifying cancer specific epigenetic changes and developing novel compounds which target these changes. Recently, he has initiated studies on identifying such targets in ovarian tumour stem cells.


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Bolton KL, Tyrer J, Song H, et al., 2010, Common variants at 19p13 are associated with susceptibility to ovarian cancer, Nature Genetics, Vol:42, ISSN:1061-4036, Pages:880-+

Dai W, Teodoridis JM, Zeller C, et al., 2011, Systematic CpG Islands Methylation Profiling of Genes in the Wnt Pathway in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Identifies Biomarkers of Progression-Free Survival, Clinical Cancer Research, Vol:17, ISSN:1078-0432, Pages:4052-4062

Zeller C, Dai W, Steele NL, et al., 2012, Candidate DNA methylation drivers of acquired cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer identified by methylome and expression profiling, Oncogene, Vol:31, ISSN:0950-9232, Pages:4567-4576

Rizzo S, Hersey JM, Mellor P, et al., 2011, Ovarian Cancer Stem Cell-Like Side Populations Are Enriched Following Chemotherapy and Overexpress EZH2, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Vol:10, ISSN:1535-7163, Pages:325-335

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