Edinburgh Cancer Research

Ian Tomlinson

Cancer Genetics and Evolution

Ian Tomlinson
Professor Ian Tomlinson, Director, University of Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre; Co-Director, CRUK Scotland Centre; Charles and Ethel Barr Chair of Cancer Research.

Research in a Nutshell

Professor Tomlinson joined the University of Edinburgh in Autumn 2019 as Charles and Ethel Barr Chair of Cancer Research and became the Director of Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre (including Cancer Research UK  Edinburgh Centre) in January 2020. In 2022, following successful joint bid by CRUK Edinburgh Centre and CRUK Glasgow Centre, he also became a Co-Director of the newly formed Cancer Research UK Scotland Centre (jointly with Prof Owen Sansom from Glasgow). He was previously Director of the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham, having worked before that at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, University of Oxford and the Institute of Cancer Research. His research interests lie in discovering and functionally characterising cancer driver genes, especially germline variants that predispose to cancer. He also has a longstanding interest in cancer evolution, derived from his PhD project in population genetics, with a specific interest in the relative contributions of selection and mutation to cancer growth. Ian's work focuses on colorectal cancer, but extends to several other cancer types. He is especially keen to integrate work across a variety of biomedical areas, including human patient cohorts and clinics, animal models of disease and biomathematics. 

Research Programme

Ian Tomlinson group photo


Ian Tomlinson Principal Investigator, Charles and Ethel Barr Chair of Cancer Research
Nagore De León Post Doctoral Scientist
Ignacio Soriano Post Doctoral Scientist
James Wood Post Doctoral Scientist
Albert de Menezes Post Doctoral Scientist
Connor Woolley PhD Student
Joe Ward PhD Student
Harvinder Gala PhD Student
Tiffany Idle PhD Student
Nathalie Feeley PhD Student
Mel Morgan Scientific Officer
Kitty Sherwood Scientific Officer
Chloe Henry Research Assistant
Guler Gul PhD Student
Amy McCorry Bioinformatician
Juan Fernadez Tajes Bioinformatician
Sophie Roper Post Doctoral Scientist
Steve Thorn Bioinformatician



PA: laura.wood@ed.ac.uk


  • Professor Malcolm Dunlop, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Richard Houlston, The Institute of Cancer Research, London
  • Simon Leedham, University of Oxford
  • Trevor Graham, Queen Mary University of London
  • Andrea Sottoriva, The Institute of Cancer Research, London
  • David Wedge, University of Oxford
  • Tim Maughan, University of Oxford
  • David Church, University of Oxford
  • Claire Palles, University of Birmingham
  • Nuria Lopez­-Bigas, Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona
  • Shazia Irshad, University of Oxford

Partners and Funders

  • Cancer Research UK
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Bowel & Cancer Research

Scientific Themes

Cancer biology, cancer genetics, colorectal cancer risk and prevention, cancer evolution, functional genetics

Technology Expertise

Genetic data analysis, genomics, transcriptomics, methylomics, cancer models