Dr Inigo Martincorena

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Position: Group Leader
Personal home page: https://www.sanger.ac.uk/people/directory/martincorena-inigo

PubMed journal articles - click here

Dr Inigo Martincorena is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.

Research description

My research focuses on understanding cancer progression as a result of somatic mutation and selection. Over the past few years, systematic sequencing of tumours has revolutionised our understanding of the genetics of cancer. This has revealed that most cancers carry thousands of mutations in their genomes, accumulated through the lifetime of their cells. However, owing to technical limitations, very little is known about the earliest steps of cancer and how normal cells in our tissues accumulate mutations during ageing and in their progression towards cancer. I investigate these early changes by studying somatic evolution in normal and precancerous tissues.

I also work on adapting evolutionary methods to cancer genomics and on the development of computational methods for discovering new cancer genes and non-coding driver mutations. This includes the development of dNdScv, an evolutionary method to study selection in cancer and identify driver genes from cancer genomics data.

Research Programme
Early Cancer Institute
Methods and technologies
DNA sequencing
Statistical analysis
Tumour type interests
Recent publications:
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Key publications

Martincorena I*, Fowler JC, Wabik A, Lawson ARJ, Abascal F et al. 2018. Somatic mutant clones colonize the human esophagus with age. Science. 362(6417):911-917.

Martincorena I*, Raine KM, Gerstung M, Dawson KJ, Haase K et al. 2017. Universal Patterns of Selection in Cancer and Somatic Tissues. Cell 171;5;1029-1041.e21.

Martincorena I, Roshan A, Gerstung M, Ellis P, Van Loo P et al. 2015. High burden and pervasive positive selection of somatic mutations in normal human skin. Science. 348;6237;880-6.

Martincorena I* and Campbell PJ*. 2015. Somatic mutation in cancer and normal cells. Science. 349;6255;1483-9.

Ju YS, Martincorena I, Gerstung M, Petljak M, Alexandrov LB et al. 2017. Somatic mutations reveal asymmetric cellular dynamics in the early human embryo. Nature. 543;7647;714-718.

Martincorena I*, Seshasayee AS and Luscombe NM*. 2012. Evidence of non-random mutation rates suggests an evolutionary risk management strategy. Nature. 485;7396;95-8.

Wong CC, Martincorena I, Rust AG, Rashid M, Alifrangis C et al. 2014. Inactivating CUX1 mutations promote tumorigenesis. Nature genetics. 46;1;33-8.