Dr Yinyin Yuan joined the ICR in 2012 as the Leader of the Computational Pathology and Integrative Genomics Team. Currently, her team is part of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at ICR, and the Centre for Molecular Pathology at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London. Her team develops computational approaches to study tumours as evolving ecosystems by fusing digital pathology, bioinformatics and ecological principles.
Her research focuses on the emerging concept that tumours are complex, evolving ecosystems with dynamic crosstalks between cancer and normal cells, instead of static collections of cancer subclones. Studying the relationships between cancer cells and its ecological environment allows for development of new and effective therapeutic interventions, analogous to draining the swamps to help eradicate malaria. By combining high-throughput pathological image analysis, machine learning and ecological statistics and harnessing high-performance computing power, her team aims to study how different cancers grow and spread amidst healthy tissue at unprecedented detail.
Dr Yuan was trained in computer science and bioinformatics. She obtained her academic degrees in computer science during her education at the University of Science and Technology of China (BSc 2003) and University of Warwick (MSc by Research 2005, computer vision and steganography; PhD 2009, machine learning and bioinformatics). Her postdoctoral work in cancer bioinformatics at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute focused on the discovery of new subtypes of breast cancer using large-scale machine learning and image processing on molecular data and pathological images. From 2010-12 she served as a member of the governing body at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. Outside work, she is a keen hiker and rock climber.