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Cancer research cluster

Exhibiting the core values of the Open University, the Cancer Group is ‘open to people, places, methods and ideas.’ Our work encompasses a wide range of disciplines applied to cancer, including: molecular biology, chemistry, physics, technology, bioinformatics, engineering, social sciences and education. We also work with world-leading research institutes, universities, hospitals, businesses and organisations. Areas of specific focus include: cancer cell biology (bioinformatics and wet lab work), diagnostics, experimental therapeutics, patient support and care. Specifically, we use a variety of bioinformatic tools to identify novel functional and prognostic genes and variants, particularly regulatory networks. We use state-of-the-art genomic and wet lab techniques to investigate the mechanistic role of non-coding RNAs and epigenetic effectors in cancer initiation and progression. We develop novel radiosensitisers and photosensitisers for cancer treatments. We work to improve cancer care in Africa.

The Group comprises around 20 faculty, technical support and research students, plus a variety of external members. We are always interested in collaborations.

If you are working on a topic related to cancer and would like to become a member or would be interested in hearing about seminars and events organised by the group, please send an email to the group convenor to be added to our email list.

To find out more about our cancer researchers, click on the links below.

List of academic staff

List of researchers, support staff and PhD students

  • Agata Stramek
  • Holly Jackson
  • Iwona Lonza
  • K Fox
  • Laura Contu
  • Maryam Latarani
  • Pritika Rao
  • Sioux Redwood

Cancer research cluster news


Funding sucess: Understanding radio resistance in paediatric brain cancer

LHCS researchers Golding, Crea, Bacon and Stramek have assembled an international team to examine the genetic changes that occur in response to radiotherapy in the highly aggressive childhood brain cancer, known as DIPG. Radiotherapy is the only approved treatment for DIPG, but patients generally fail to respond after a few months and then the disease continues. Tragically, the average survival time for DIPG is only 6-8 months. If we can understand how these cancer cells mutate to evade radiotherapy there may be a chance to prevent this from happening and extend the treatment window, or even develop a cure. The team comprises DIPG experts from Institute of Cancer Research and University of Portsmouth; bioinformatics experts from University of Freiburg and European Bioinformatics Institute; and radiographers from GenesisCare. The Open University has awarded over £23,000 to fund this research.

Publications from the Cancer research cluster

A list of publications from the Cancer research cluster can be found here. 



Vancouver Prostate Centre, Volition, Cambridge University Veterinary School, Genesis Care (Milton Keynes), Milton Keynes University Hospital, Northampton General Hospital