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Sean Wen

DPhil Student

Chances are we personally know someone afflicted with the big C. Cancer Research UK recently reported that 1 in 2 people in the UK will develop cancer some point in their lives – superseding previous forecasts that an estimated 1 in 3 people would develop cancer some point in their lives. There is, therefore, an urgency to continue the search for novel and improved cancer treatment methods and preventive measures.

Beginning my career in 2013 at Cancer Research Malaysia, I worked with the Breast Cancer Research Group to develop next-generation genetic screening assays and bioinformatics pipeline to characterise cancer susceptibility genes in Asian breast and ovarian cancer patients. In parallel, and in collaboration with University Malaya, we identified germline APOBEC3B deletion polymorphism as a biomarker for an immune signature in Asian breast cancer patients. In 2018, at International Medical University (IMU), I utilised publicly available datasets to assess the potential utility of BRCA1 and BRCA2 as a biomarker for immunotherapy in breast cancer patients.

Presently at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM), I am working with the Haematopoietic Stem Cell Biology Group under the tutelage of Prof. Dr. Adam Mead and Dr. Supat Thongjuea to assess the potential utility of spliceosome mutations as biomarkers for immunotherapy in haematopoietic malignancies.

I hope to combine large data analytics and technological advances in genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics to repurpose previously characterised or discover new and better genetic markers for targeted therapies in cancer patients. Thus, enabling the identification and increasing the number of cancer patients amenable for targeted therapy by leveraging on the almost-ubiquitous and cost-efficient next-generation genetic screening assays. Thus, expediting scientific discoveries from bench to bedside, and ultimately, the deliverance of translational research.

Sean is funded by the Clarendon Fund and Oxford-Radcliffe Scholarship in conjunction with WIMM Prize PhD Studentship.