MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

Malcolm Dunlop Research Group (Affiliate)

Colorectal Cancer, Genetic Susceptibility, Prevention

Professor Malcolm Dunlop - Colon Cancer Genetics Group and Academic Coloproctology; Head of Colon Cancer Genetics

Research in a Nutshell 

My primary research focus is on the genetic basis of colorectal cancer in order to shed new light on disease causation and to combat the disease through preventative approaches and early detection. Genetic studies include investigation of the effect and contribution of known susceptibility alleles as well as to identify novel cancer predisposition genes. Genetics of colorectal cancer is a major theme of the group. We are engaged in population-based studies amounting to several thousand patients and controls from Scotland, cancer families and highly enriched patient groups with extreme phenotype colorectal cancer. We have undertaken a genome-wide scan for low penetrance alleles in colorectal cancer and this has led to identification of novel genes, and we are pursuing the basis of cancer susceptibility through functional studies for a number of these associations.

Cancer chemoprevention is another central theme of the group, focussed primarily on the effect of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on NF-kappa-B signalling as a key mechanism of the anti-tumour effect of these agents. The work involves basic molecular and cell biology, animal studies and clinical translational studies in patients with rectal cancer, premalignant and also in patients at high risk of colorectal cancer due genetic predisposition.

Cancer screening in the general population and also in high risk groups is another focus of research activity. I was involved in the initiation of the UK Colorectal Cancer Screening Pilot Schemes as well as contributing to the assessment of outcome measures. I lead the UK initiative for developing surveillance guidelines for high risk genetic groups and published under the auspices of the British Society of Gastroenterology and the Association of Coloproctology of GB and Ireland.



Professor Malcolm Dunlop

Colon Cancer Genetics Group and Academic Coloproctology. Head of Colon Cancer Genetics

Susan Farrington           

Principal Investigator and Reader

Anna-Maria Ochocka     Research Fellow
Vidya Rajasekaran          Research Fellow
Victoria Svinti    Bioinformatician
Maria Timofeeva            Statistician (shared role: Farrington and Dunlop)
Marion Walker Laboratory Manager
Stuart Reid         Research Technician
Ruby Osborn    

PhD student

Peter Vaughan-Shaw     Clinical Research PhD student
Paz Friele            (shared role:  Farhat Din/Susan Farrington/Malcolm Dunlop/Mark Arends/ Kevin Myant)