Dr Colin Watts

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Position: Senior Lecturer
Personal home page: http://www.brc.cam.ac.uk
Email:   cw209@cam.ac.uk

PubMed journal articles - click here

Dr Colin Watts is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.

Research description

Dr Watts research group aims to improve the treatment and survival of patients with Glioblastoma (GB) by understanding the molecular genetic heterogeneity of individual tumours and using that data to develop novel molecular stratification of GB suitable for application in clinical trial design. His group has established protocols for the efficient derivation of tumour-initiating stem-like cells and used them to develop patient-specific models of GBM. He has adapted fluorescent surgery to develop Fluorescence-Guided Multiple Sampling (FGMS), which allows spatially discrete tissue samples to be taken from individual patients. This is providing novel insights into the impact of surgical sampling bias on our understanding of the complex genomic landscape of GBM, its clonal architecture and phylogeny at the level of the individual patient. Future work aims to develop FGMS to investigate glioma ontogeny and transcriptional regulatory dynamics in defined clinical patient populations.

Research Programme
Neurobiology and Brain Cancers

Key publications

Sottoriva A, Spiteri I, Piccirillo SG, Touloumis A, Collins VP, Marioni JC, Curtis C, Watts C, Tavare S. Intratumor heterogeneity in human glioblastoma reflects cancer evolutionary dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2013;110(10):4009-14. Piccirillo SG, Dietz S, Madhu B, Griffiths J, Price SJ, Collins VP, Watts C (2012) Fluorescence-guided surgical sampling of glioblastoma identifies phenotypically distinct tumour-initiating cell populations in the tumour mass and margin. British journal of cancer 107(3): 462-8 Al-Mayhani MT, Grenfell R, Narita M, Piccirillo S, Kenney-Herbert E, Fawcett JW, Collins VP, Ichimura K, Watts C (2011) NG2 expression in glioblastoma identifies an actively proliferating population with an aggressive molecular signature. Neuro-Oncology 13(8): 830-45 Guilfoyle MR, Weerakkody RA, Oswal A, Oberg I, Jeffery C, Haynes K, Kullar PJ, Greenberg D, Jefferies SJ, Harris F, Price SJ, Thomson S, Watts C (2011) Implementation of neuro-oncology service reconfiguration in accordance with NICE guidance provides enhanced clinical care for patients with glioblastoma multiforme. British journal of cancer 104(12): 1810-5