Dr Jessica Okosun

Dr Jessica Okosun

Centre: Centre for Haemato-Oncology
  • FRCPath
Clinical Senior Lecturer
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My research focuses on understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms that underlie the initiation and progression of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in order to define clinically-relevant biomarkers.

Research Details

I have a research interest in B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Our current focus is on follicular lymphoma, an indolent malignancy that remains incurable and for which the typical clinical course is one where patients relapse on several occasions eventually becoming therapy resistant. Our main research questions are to:

  • Understand the molecular processes that govern lymphoma initiation
  • Characterise intra-tumour heterogeneity and evolution and their role in lymphoma progression
  • Define novel biomarkers that can be translated to clinical practice

To address these questions, we aim to utilise primary lymphoma samples in combination with cutting-edge tools and in vivo techniques.


I graduated in medicine from the University of Cambridge and subsequently undertook my medical and specialty registrar haematology training in London. My research interests in lymphoma biology was developed during my Kay Kendall funded Clinical Research Fellowship with Professor Jude Fitzgibbon at the Barts Cancer Institute where I investigated the genetic heterogeneity and tumour evolution underlying follicular lymphoma and its progression. I was awarded the Royal College of Pathologists Specialty Research Medal for this work.

I returned to the Barts Cancer Institute as a Clinical Senior Lecturer in 2017 and will also be working at the Francis Crick Institute with Dr Dominique Bonnet and Dr Dinis Calado.


2017 to present: Clinical Senior Lecturer

2011-2015: Kay Kendall Clinical Research Fellow, Barts Cancer Institute


2015: PhD, Queen Mary University of London

2011: FRCPath, Royal College of Pathologists

2008: MRCP, Royal College of Physicians

2004: MB BChir, University of Cambridge

2002: BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge


2017-2022 - Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship: £1.4M

2011-2015 - Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Junior Clinical Research Fellowship: £290,000

Key Publications

Early loss of Crebbp confers malignant stem cell properties on lymphoid progenitors. Horton SJ, Giotopoulos G, Yun H, Vohra S, Sheppard O, Bashford-Rogers R, Rashid M, Clipson A, Chan W, Sasca D, Yiangou L, Osaki H, Basheer F, Gallipoli P, Burrows N, Erdem A, Sybirna A, Foerster S, Zhao W, Sustic T, Harrison AP, Laurenti E, Okosun J, Hodson D, Wright P, Smith KG, Maxwell P, Fitzgibbon J, Du MQ, Adams DJ, Huntly BJP. Nat Cell Biol 19(9):1093-1104, 2017 PMID: 28825697  

TNFRSF14 aberrations in follicular lymphoma increase clinically significant allogeneic T-cell responses. Kotsiou E, Okosun J, Besley C, Iqbal S, Matthews J, Fitzgibbon J, Gribben JG, Davies JK. Blood 128(1):72-81, 2016 PMID: 27103745

Recurrent mTORC1-activating RRAGC mutations in follicular lymphoma. Okosun J*, Wolfson RL*, Wang J, Araf S, Wilkins L, Castellano BM, Escudero-Ibarz L, Al Seraihi AF, Richter J, Bernhart SH, Efeyan A, Iqbal S, Matthews J, Clear A, Guerra-Assunção JA, Bödör C, Quentmeier H, Mansbridge C, Johnson P, Davies A, Strefford JC, Packham G, Barrans S, Jack A, Du MQ, Calaminici M, Lister TA, Auer R, Montoto S, Gribben JG, Siebert R, Chelala C, Zoncu R, Sabatini DM, Fitzgibbon J. Nature Genetics 48(2):183-8, 2016 PMID: 26691987

Integrated genomic analysis identifies recurrent mutations and evolution patterns driving the initiation and progression of follicular lymphoma. Okosun J*, Bödör C*, Wang J*, Araf S, Yang CY, Pan C, Boller S, Cittaro D, Bozek M, Iqbal S, Matthews J, Wrench D, Marzec J, Tawana K, Popov N, O'Riain C, O'Shea D, Carlotti E, Davies A, Lawrie CH, Matolcsy A, Calaminici M, Norton A, Byers RJ, Mein C, Stupka E, Lister TA, Lenz G, Montoto S, Gribben JG, Fan Y, Grosschedl R, Chelala C, Fitzgibbon J. Nature Genetics 46(2):176-81, 2014  PMID: 24362818

Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here

My research focuses on understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms that underlie the initiation and progression of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in order to define clinically-relevant biomarkers.

External Activities

Member of the European Haematology Association


A post doctoral position will be available in the coming months. Ambitious, highly-motivated individuals with molecular biology and preferably cancer genomics/epigenomics experience are encouraged to apply.

See other researchers working on:

Blood cancers Clinical Trials Genetics Lymphoma
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