Professor Jude Fitzgibbon

Centre: Haemato-Oncology
Professor of Personalised Cancer Medicine
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QMUL Directory

My research group works on molecular pathology, genetics and progression of leukaemias and lymphomas, with the aim of improving on current diagnostic, prognostic and treatment strategies.


Research Details

In lymphoma our focus is a B cell malignancy called Follicular Lymphoma and the (epi)genomic changes responsible for the onset and severity of the disease. Although these tumours are chemo-sensitive, the disease is incurable, with many patients experiencing several episodes of relapse before the disease becomes refractory to treatment.

Based on a policy of repeat biopsy at our centre, we have developed the largest series of sequential tumour tissue worldwide, allowing us to trace the genetic changes in these tumours over time. We have uncovered a highly complex pattern of tumour evolution, consistent with the existence of a common progenitor B cell from which each new episode of disease is thought to arise.

Current studies are focusing on the specific tumour initiating changes in DNA and histone methylation that appear to accompany this shift from normal to malignant B cells.

In leukaemia we have a longstanding interest in cases of familial Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and Myelodysplasia that arise as result of germ-line mutations in at least 3 myeloid transcription factors, CEBPA, RUNX1 and GATA2. While these studies are important to the individual families, they are also helping us understand the molecular evolution of AML, the patterns by which mutations arise and an explanation for the clinical heterogeneity that exists both within and between families.

Also in this group:

Ms Tahrima Rahim - Research Technician


I joined Barts and the London Medical School as a Research Fellow in Medical Oncology in 1997, becoming Senior Lecturer in 2004 and Reader in 2009. I received my BA degree in Genetics at Trinity College Dublin in 1989 before completing my PhD studies on the Genetics of Tuberous Sclerosis at University College London in 1993.



2015-20 Bloodwise Programme Award, Co-PI: "The biology and management of familial myelodysplasia and leukaemia"
2013-18 Cancer Research UK Programme Award, PI: "Personalised Epigenetic Therapy for Follicular Lymphoma"

Key Publications

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. Nat Genet. 2016 Feb;48(2):183-8. PMID: 26691987

Disease evolution and outcomes in familial AML with germline CEBPA mutations.
Tawana K, Wang J, Renneville A, Bödör C, Hills R, Loveday C, Savic A, Van Delft FW, Treleaven J, Georgiades P, Uglow E, Asou N, Uike N, Debeljak M, Jazbec J, Ancliff P, Gale R, Thomas X, Mialou V, Döhner K, Bullinger L, Mueller B, Pabst T, Stelljes M, Schlegelberger B, Wozniak E, Iqbal S, Okosun J, Araf S, Frank AK, Lauridsen FB, Porse B, Nerlov C, Owen C, Dokal I, Gribben J, Smith M, Preudhomme C, Chelala C, Cavenagh J, Fitzgibbon J. Blood. 2015 Sep 3;126(10):1214-23. PMID: 26162409

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 JNat Genet. 2014 Feb;46(2):176-81. PMID: 24362818

EZH2 mutations are frequent and represent an early event in follicular lymphoma. 
Bödör C, Grossmann V, Popov N, Okosun J, O'Riain C, Tan K, Marzec J, Araf S, Wang J, Lee AM, Clear A, Montoto S, Matthews J, Iqbal S, Rajnai H, Rosenwald A, Ott G, Campo E, Rimsza LM, Smeland EB, Chan WC, Braziel RM, Staudt LM, Wright G, Lister TA, Elemento O, Hills R, Gribben JG, Chelala C, Matolcsy A, Kohlmann A, Haferlach T, Gascoyne RD, Fitzgibbon J. Blood. 2013 Oct 31;122(18):3165-8. PMID: 24052547


Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here.

My research group works on molecular pathology, genetics and progression of leukaemias and lymphomas, with the aim of improving on current diagnostic, prognostic and treatment strategies.


External Activities

Henry Stewart Talk available online: (2015) "Molecular genetics of non-Hodgkin lymphoma", in Murty, V. (ed.), Cancer Genetics, The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks Ltd, London

  • Member of Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Fellowships Panel (2014 - )
  • The Lancet Haematology: International Advisory Board (2004 - )


Research Group Updates

  • June 2015: Jessica Okosun presented at the Presidential Symposium at the 20th European Haematology Congress, "Recurrent mTORC1-Activating RRAGC Mutations in Follicular Lymphoma"
  • December 2015: Nature Genetics paper mTOR pathways in Follicular Lymphoma published
  • March 2015: LLR lymphoma consortium announced
  • Jan 2014: New £1.4m collaborative research project with the Blizard Institute funded by Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research: understanding familial myeloid leukaemia (FML).
  • Nov 2014: Dr Jessica Okosun awarded the specialty research medal in Haematology 2014 by the Royal College of Pathologists for her Nature Genetics manuscript on Follicular Lymphoma. Presented in March 2015.
  • July 2014: Clinical Research Fellow Jessica Okosun invited speaker at 8th Universités d'été des Thérapies Ciblées et Translationnelles du Cancer in Montpellier, speaking on the Genetics of Follicular Lymphoma
  • June 2014: Received Special Commendation in CR-UK Flame of Hope Awards
  • May 2014: Speaker for Pint of Science at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club on Epigenetics

Conference Presentations

  • Mar 2017: Co-organiser of the Follicular Lymphoma: the next 10 years meeting
  • Jan 2016: Invited Speaker Festival of Genomics Panel Discussion Could improving sample quality lead to better classification and diagnosis of cancer?, London.
  • Jan 2016: Invited Speaker at Epigenetics and Drug Discovery Conference, Follicular Lymphoma an Epigenetic Addicted Cancer", Cambridge. Session: "Genetic Traits for Myeloid Malignancies: Current concepts for familial AML"

  • Nov 2015: Invited Speaker Malta Oncology Research Symposium, Personalised Medicine Haematological Malignancies, Malta.
  • Oct 2015: Invited Speaker 1st Central and Eastern European Meeting: Challenging Approaches to B-cell Malignancies Prague.
  • Sept 2015: Invited Speaker at The European Cancer Congress, Vienna, Special
  • Sept 2015: Invited Speaker at the Cancer Therapy & Diagnosis Congress, London, "Precision Medicine in B Cell Follicular Lymphoma"April 2015: Invited speaker at the Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland, on Follicular Lymphoma Evolution
  • April 2015: Invited Speaker at West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory Birmingham, speaking about Familial Leukaemia
  • March 2015: Invited Speaker at the Annual meeting of the Danish PhD network in Hematology, speaking about Epigenetic Therapies.
  • March 2015: Invited Speaker at the UK Cancer Cytogenetic Group Conference, Newcastle, speaking about the molecular basis of indolent lymphoma
  • Feb 2015:Invited Speaker MBI Workshop on Tumour Heterogeneity and the Microenvironment at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State, Columbus, USA

  • Nov 2014: Invited speaker at the 2014 EpiCongress in London, "Germinal Centre Lymphomas Are Addicted To Epigenetic Mutations - Prospect For Precision Medicine"
  • Nov 2014: Invited speaker at the 18th Annual Haematology Forum in London, "The molecular pathology of Follicular Lymphoma"
  • Nov 2014: Invited speaker at the Department of Human Genetics, Hannover Medical School in Germany "Follicular Lymphoma, it's not just the t(14;18) any more"
  • Oct 2014: Invited speaker at the 17th Meeting of the European Association for Haematopathology in Istanbul. "Genetic and epigenetic alterations of small B-cell lymphoma"
  • Sept 2014: Invited speaker at the British Society for Genetic Medicine in Liverpool on Cancer Genetics "Familial AML and MDS: Where we are and where are we headed?"
  • July 2014: Invited Speaker at Leeds Past, Present & Future of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Diagnosis Study Day. Title: "Follicular lymphoma - it's not just about the t(14;18)
    any more"May 2014: Invited Speaker Rui-Jin Hospital Shanghai Institute of Hematology China
  • May 2014: Invited Speaker 16th Shanghai International Forum on Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry China on Personalised Cancer Medicine
  • April 2014: Invited Speaker 9th Biennial Childhood Leukemia Symposium, Prague, Czech Republic on Familial Leukemia
  • March 2014: Invited Speaker Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC) University of Copenhagen, Denmark

See other researchers working on:

Blood cancers Genetics Leukaemia Lymphoma
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