Christopher Smith

My name is Chris and I have been a post-doc in Nitzan’s group since Jan 2015. Previously I completed a PhD and first post-doc at Cardiff University, studying the genetics and pharmacogenetics of colorectal cancer with Prof. Jeremy Cheadle. During this period I, amongst other things, carried out somatic molecular profiling of FFPE colorectal tumours with the aim of sensitively identifying and detecting predictive biomarkers that might influence response to targeted treatments.

Upon reading about the emerging field of ‘circulating tumour DNA’ and the work being carried out by Nitzan and others, I immediately saw the potential for the use of the ‘liquid biopsy’. Upon joining Nitzan’s group I have mostly been involved in technological development. I have tested the application of whole exome- and custom capture- sequencing to ctDNA analysis. I have also adapted shallow whole genome sequencing – a protocol that allows simple detection of somatic copy number abnormalities and that is now regularly used by the group.

I have been involved in the study of cell-free and cellular tumour DNA in muscle invasive bladder cancer (along with Keval Patel), and am about to initiate a project studying cell-free DNA in renal cancer. I have also been fortunate to contribute to various other projects being carried out by other members of the group – both clinical and biological in nature.

In my free time I like to play squash, strum the guitar, watch rugby, read and spend time with family and friends.