Dr Zbyslaw Sondka | Senior Database Curator

Sondka, Zbyslaw

I'm a cancer biologist responsible for completing the Cancer Gene Census. Having first-hand experience on the methodologies used in both wet- and dry lab in cancer research I'm interested in identifying novel and rare molecular patterns associated with cancers.

As a Senior Database Curator in COSMIC team I work on development and completing the Cancer Gene Census. The goal of the census is to identify all genes and their somatic mutations involved in oncogenesis. Based on manually curated data from published studies it will also provide information on the frequency of mutated alleles in various types of cancer and their impact on the development of tumour.

Previously, as a Research Assistant at Newcastle University (2008-2015), I was investigating the role of topoisomerase II in generation of gene fusions leading to therapy-related leukaemias, which develop after cancer treatment with topoisomerase inhibitors. Having started this role as a wet lab researcher with expertise in molecular biology assays, I developed skills in analysis and processing of ChIPseq and expression data.

I'm interested in how mutations or their combinations drive the oncogenesis and in applying this knowledge to identify new therapeutic targets and diagnostic biomarkers


  • Genome-wide ChIP-seq analysis of human TOP2B occupancy in MCF7 breast cancer epithelial cells.

    Manville CM, Smith K, Sondka Z, Rance H, Cockell S et al.

    Biology open 2015;4;11;1436-47

  • The role of topoisomerase II beta on breakage and proximity of RUNX1 to partner alleles RUNX1T1 and EVI1.

    Smith KA, Cowell IG, Zhang Y, Sondka Z and Austin CA

    Genes, chromosomes & cancer 2014;53;2;117-28

  • MRE11 facilitates the removal of human topoisomerase II complexes from genomic DNA.

    Lee KC, Padget K, Curtis H, Cowell IG, Moiani D et al.

    Biology open 2012;1;9;863-73

  • Model for MLL translocations in therapy-related leukemia involving topoisomerase IIβ-mediated DNA strand breaks and gene proximity.

    Cowell IG, Sondka Z, Smith K, Lee KC, Manville CM et al.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012;109;23;8989-94

  • NOD2/CARD15 polymorphism in patients with rectal cancer.

    Szeliga J, Sondka Z, Jackowski M, Jarkiewicz-Tretyn J, Tretyn A and Malenczyk M

    Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research 2008;14;9;CR480-4

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Zbyslaw's Timeline

Senior Database Curator in COSMIC team at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute


Research Associate at Newcastle University - investigating the role of topoisomerase II in aetiology of therapy-related leukaemias


PhD at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun - studying NOD2 gene polymorphism in patients with rectal, larynx or breast cancer