Dr Nicholas Younger

Background

I completed my PhD in Dr Luke Boulter's lab where I studied the somatic genetic basis of biliary tract cancer with a focus on novel driver discovery and tumour evolution. I have broad interests in both computational and molecular biology and this project allowed me to explore and develop tools in both of these areas - a challenging and deeply rewarding experience.

Prior to this I graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2015 with a BSc in Human Embryology and Developmental Biology, during which time I developed an interest in evolutionary developmental biology, particularly regarding morphology, neural development, and gene regulatory networks. My honors project focused on recapitulating embryonic states in adult spinal neurons to facilitate spinal cord regeneration. 

Qualifications

PhD Genetics and Molecular Medicine

BSc (Hons) Human Embryology and Developmental Biology

 

 

Research summary

My areas of interest are cancer genetics, tumour evolution/ecology, and genome evolution/architecture more generally. 

I am intereseted in developing complementary computational and experimental methods which combine bioinformatics/statistics with functional genomics, in vivo modeling and molecular biology.

My current focus is on innitiation and gene-gene interactions in liver cancer. 

Current research interests

1). Using a patient-led functional genomics approach to derive a landscape of low-frequency tumour-suppressors in spontaneous cholangiocarcinoma. In vivo CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis screening in a murine model is preceded by computational prediction of driver genes from large cohorts of cholangiocarcinoma exome sequencing data. Co-screening with specific common drivers further elucidates the impact of epistatic interactions on phenotype. 2). Exploring the influence of liver fluke on genome evolution and tumour microenvironment in fluke-related cholangiocarcinoma. We are interested in establishing if the past or continued presence of liver fluke in cholangiocarcinoma constrains or expands possible evolutionary trajectories along the somatic evolution of these tumours. This research employs multi-region exome-seq, single-cell transcriptomics, and patient-derived-organoid culture.