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Professor Richard Houlston, Molecular and Population Genetics Team

The Houlston laboratory uses, and is continuously implementing state-of-the-art analytical and computational technologies to identify novel cancer susceptibility genes. We are particularly focused on using methods that are systematic, automated and high-throughput. The cornerstone of much of our work is analysis of SNP array and Next Generation sequencing data in concert with bioinformatic analyses.

We are particularly interested in genetic analysis of colorectal cancer, brain tumours and haematological malignancies. Our research is focused on three main areas:

Genome-wide association studies

Genome-wide association studies of large case-control series to identify common susceptibility variants influencing the risk of cancer.

Search for rare disease variants/mutations

The search for rare disease variants/mutations by Next Generation Sequencing of cancer cases enriched for genetic susceptibility by virtue of either family history or early-onset disease. 

Genetic variants that influence cancer susceptibility

Elucidating the functional basis of genetic variants that influence cancer susceptibility represents an ongoing challenge as many risk variants localise to non-coding regions of the human genome.

We are adopting combinatorial approaches to this problem and have been able to demonstrate that some risk variants have cis–regulatory effects on gene regulation.

Funding: Our work is supported by Grants from Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia Lymphoma Research Fund, Myeloma UK, Kay Kendal Leukaemia Fund, European Union FP7, National Institutes of Health, and the Arbib Fund.


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