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Applied Bioinformatics of Cancer

The Applied Bioinformatics of Cancer research group aims to bring meaning to high-throughput molecular approaches in order to unravel the complexity of cancer.

High-throughput molecular techniques now allow the simultaneous measurement of thousands of DNA sequences, mRNA transcripts, peptides or metabolites giving us a holistic view of cellular processes. They enable us to ask fundamentally different experimental questions, such as “which genes change?”, rather than “does gene X change?” - enabling data-driven rather than hypothesis-driven experiments to be performed. These ‘-omics’ studies must be considered within the wider context of cancer biology, accepting the complexity and heterogeneity. We need both carefully designed experiments which minimise sources of variation to look at the specific effects of single factors and meta-analyses which bring the findings into the wider context of treatments and patients. 

The ABC group conducts independent research on experimental reproducibility and meta-analysis of high-throughput data as well as assisting with many multidisciplinary collaborative (translational and fundamental) projects within the Edinburgh Breakthrough Research Unit and beyond, investigating the molecular basis of cancer predisposition, initiation, response to treatment and prognosis.