Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Professor of Biochemistry



+44 (0)20 7594 3161h.keun




officesInstitute of Reproductive and Developmental BiologyHammersmith Campus





Professor Keun joined Imperial in 2001 after completing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Oxford University in Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research programme centres on the application of small molecule profiling (metabolomics & small RNA sequencing) to problems in oncology and toxicology . His current work includes:

  • using systems biology to understand and exploit post-transcriptional regulation of metabolism by microRNAs and RNA splicing
  • identifying translational biomarkers of drug toxicity
  • investigating metabolic inhibitors as an anti-cancer therapies
  • measuring metabolic risk factors for cancer in population studies
  • understanding the links between lifetime environmental exposure ('the exposome') and health outcomes

Prof Keun's research is supported by Cancer Research UK, EU-FP7/Horizon 2020, AstraZeneca/BBSRC Prostate Cancer UK

medicine, postgraduate study, biomedical, teaching

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Xu Y, Spear S, Ma Y, et al., 2023, Pharmacological depletion of RNA splicing factor RBM39 by indisulam synergizes with PARP inhibitors in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, Cell Reports, Vol:42, ISSN:2211-1247

Maitre L, Bustamante M, Hernandez-Ferrer C, et al., 2022, Multi-omics signatures of the human early life exposome, Nature Communications, Vol:13, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-18

Xu Y, Nijhuis A, Keun HC, 2022, RNA-binding motif protein 39 (RBM39): an emerging cancer target, British Journal of Pharmacology, Vol:179, ISSN:0007-1188, Pages:2795-2812

Nijhuis A, Sikka A, Yogev O, et al., 2022, Indisulam targets RNA splicing and metabolism to serve as a therapeutic strategy for high-risk neuroblastoma, Nature Communications, Vol:13, ISSN:2041-1723

Stratakis N, Siskos AP, Papadopoulou E, et al., 2022, Urinary metabolic biomarkers of diet quality in European children are associated with metabolic health, Elife, Vol:11, ISSN:2050-084X, Pages:1-20

Dossus L, Kouloura E, Biessy C, et al., 2021, Prospective analysis of circulating metabolites and endometrial cancer risk, Gynecologic Oncology, Vol:162, ISSN:0090-8258, Pages:475-481

Robinson O, 2020, Prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances associated with increased susceptibility to liver Injury in children, Hepatology, Vol:72, ISSN:0270-9139, Pages:1758-1770

Barnes EME, Xu Y, Benito A, et al., 2020, Lactic acidosis induces resistance to the pan-Akt inhibitor uprosertib in colon cancer cells, British Journal of Cancer, Vol:122, ISSN:0007-0920, Pages:1298-1308

Koufaris C, Valbuena GN, Pomyen Y, et al., 2016, Systematic integration of molecular profiles identifies miR-22 as a regulator of lipid and folate metabolism in breast cancer cells., Oncogene, Vol:35, Pages:2766-2776

Maitre L, 2014, Urinary metabolic profiles in early pregnancy are associated with preterm birth and fetal growth restriction in the Rhea mother–child cohort study, BMC Medicine, Vol:12, ISSN:1741-7015

Stewart JD, Marchan R, Lesjak MS, et al., 2012, Choline-releasing glycerophosphodiesterase EDI3 drives tumor cell migration and metastasis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:109, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:8155-8160

Stebbing J, Sharma A, North B, et al., 2012, A metabolic phenotyping approach to understanding relationships between metabolic syndrome and breast tumour responses to chemotherapy, Annals of Oncology, Vol:23, ISSN:0923-7534, Pages:860-U2

Ellis JK, Athersuch TJ, Thomas LD, et al., 2012, Metabolic profiling detects early effects of environmental and lifestyle exposure to cadmium in a human population., Bmc Medicine, Vol:10, Pages:61-61

Backshall A, Sharma R, Clarke SJ, et al., 2011, Pharmacometabonomic Profiling as a Predictor of Toxicity in Patients with Inoperable Colorectal Cancer Treated with Capecitabine, Clinical Cancer Research, Vol:17, ISSN:1078-0432, Pages:3019-3028

Cavill R, Kamburov A, Ellis JK, et al., 2011, Consensus-Phenotype Integration of Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Data Implies a Role for Metabolism in the Chemosensitivity of Tumour Cells, PLOS Computational Biology, Vol:7, ISSN:1553-734X

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