Dr Jun Wang

Dr Jun Wang

BEng, MSc, PhD
Centre: Centre for Molecular Oncology
Lecturer in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology
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My main research interests are in:

  • discovery of driver mutations and pathways in cancer development and progression
  • clonal evolutionary patterns using bioinformatics and computational approaches.
  • roles of noncoding sequence variants and dysregulated noncoding RNAs in cancer.

I am also part of the Bioinformatics Unit led by Prof Claude Chelala, playing a significant role in expanding its research and teaching expertise.

Research Details

Cancer is a complex genetic disease caused by DNA abnormalities. The technological advances in DNA sequencing have accelerated the discovery of cancer genes, especially by large cancer genome projects, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC).

The significant reduction in cost has also allowed individual researchers to carry out “routine” DNA/RNA sequencing tasks. Given the increasing amount of sequencing data, the challenges are in how to interpret the results accurately and efficiently, and to identify “driver” mutations from thousands of "passengers".

Our research interests include the following,

  • Discovery of driver mutations and pathways contributing to cancer development and progression based on a study cohort from a few individuals (familial or sporadic) to tens/hundreds of samples using whole-genome, whole-exome and targeted sequencing approaches.

    Previously we investigated driver mutations in follicular lymphoma (FL) and transformed FL, as well as familial acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Currently we are looking into the mutational landscape of skin cancers including cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, in collaboration with University of Dundee and Blizard Institute, QMUL. This genomic approach is complemented by the integration of gene expression profiles to further identify tumour activating or suppressing events.

  • Identification of clonal evolutionary patterns using sequential and spatial samples. This can identify clonal driver mutations that occurred early in the evolutionary process, and sub-clonal late events present in just a fraction of tumour cells, potentially contributing to the anti-cancer drug resistance.

    Currently we are investigating the spatial heterogeneity in FL to complete our previous understanding of tumour heterogeneity from temporal samples.

  • Development of a computational algorithm to annotate and prioritise non-coding sequence variants. It has been revealed from ENCODE that ~80% of the human genome is functional. By integrating all non-coding annotation features and scores, our algorithm is a powerful tool to study the contributions of non-coding variants to tumourigenesis from our in-house and thousands of public whole-genome sequencing data.

Profile

  • 2016 – : Lecturer in Bioinformatics / Computational Biology, Bioinformatics Unit, BCI, QMUL
  • 2010 – 2016: Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioinformatics and Cancer Genomics, Barts Cancer Institute (BCI), QMUL, computational analyses of next generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray data sets of various cancer types.
  • 2008 – 2010: Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioinformatics, Department of Plant Science, Rothamsted Research, involved in the Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project Consortium.
  • 2004 – 2008: PhD in Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh - Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award, studying comparative genomics in Drosophila.
  • 2003 – 2004: MSc in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis, Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh.
  • 1999 – 2003: BEng in Biological Engineering, College of Life Sciences & Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Key Publications

Dawkins J*, Wang J*, Maniati E, Heward J, Koniali L, Martin SA, Kocher H, Chelala C, Balkwill F, Fitzgibbon J, Grose R. Reduced expression of histone methyltransferases KMT2C and KMT2D correlates with improved outcome in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Cancer Research. 2016 Jun 8. pii: canres.0481.2016. * - Equal contributors. PMID: 27280393

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, Packham G, Johnson P, Strefford ADJC, Du M, Barrans S, Jack A, Calaminici M, Lister TA, Auer R, Montoto S, Gribben JG, Siebert R, Chelala C, Zoncu R, Sabatini DM, Fitzgibbon J. Recurrent mTORC1-activating RRAGC mutations in follicular lymphoma. Nature Genetics. 2016 ;48(2):183-8. * - Equal contributors. PMID: 26691987

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. Disease evolution and outcomes in familial AML with germline CEBPA mutations. Blood. 2015; 126(10):1214-23. PMID: 26162409

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 and Fitzgibbon J. Integrated genomic analysis identifies recurrent mutations and evolution patterns driving the initiation and progression of follicular lymphoma. Nature Genetics. 2014; 46(2):176-81. * - Equal contributors. PMID: 24362818


Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here.

My main research interests are in:

  • discovery of driver mutations and pathways in cancer development and progression
  • clonal evolutionary patterns using bioinformatics and computational approaches.
  • roles of noncoding sequence variants and dysregulated noncoding RNAs in cancer.

I am also part of the Bioinformatics Unit led by Prof Claude Chelala, playing a significant role in expanding its research and teaching expertise.

News

  • April 2015: oral presentation at the annual conference of the British Society for Investigative Dermatology (BSID), Southampton

See other researchers working on:

Bioinformatics Breast Genetics Leukaemia Lymphoma Pancreas
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