Serena Nik-Zainal awarded an NIHR Research Professorship

Serena Nik-Zainal, Professor of Genomic Medicine and Bioinformatics, based at the University of Cambridge, has been announced as one of eight leading health and care researchers to gain the highly competitive NIHR Research Professorship award.

The National Institute for Health (NIHR) Research Professorships aim to fund and support the research leaders of the future across topics which strengthen and benefit health, public health and care research leadership at the highest academic levels.

Professor Serena Nik-Zainal's research topic is titled, ‘Harnessing the power of cancer whole genome sequencing for clinical utility’.

The DNA in a human cancer carries thousands of mutations that serve as an archaeological record, informative of all the biological processes that have gone awry during tumorigenesis. Understanding these mutations may help guide therapeutic management of cancer patients more effectively.

The 100,000 Genomes Project (100kGP) governed by Genomics England (GeL) is a national endeavour that has successfully sequenced over 17,000 whole cancer genomes of NHS patients recruited from across the country. In partnership with GeL, my team will develop computational algorithms on retrospective and prospective collections of cancer patient data, create methods to improve cancer genome interpretation, and critically, implement our tools into the national genomics infrastructure, to maximise the reach of our innovations nationally.

This fixed 5-year award allows outstanding academics to work at professorial level based at a higher education institution, in partnership with an NHS organisation or another provider of health, public health and/or care services.

Find out more about the awards: