Phil H Jones | Senior Group Leader

Jones, Phil H

Phil studies the earliest steps in cancer development, how specific alterations in the DNA of normal stem cells changes their behaviour to promote tumour formation.

My research focuses on how tumours evolve from individual mutant stem cells in the skin epidermis and oesophagus.

Our current work uses genetic lineage tracing, deep sequencing, live imaging and single cell analysis to define how oncogenic mutations alter the behaviour of stem cells during squamous carcinogenesis.

These lab based studies complement my clinical work at Addenbrooke's Hospital treating patients with non-melanoma skin cancer. We aim to apply our research to develop rational interventions to reduce cancer risk in carcinogen exposed patients.


  • Somatic mutant clones colonize the human esophagus with age.

    Martincorena I, Fowler JC, Wabik A, Lawson ARJ, Abascal F et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2018

  • Epidermal Tissue Adapts to Restrain Progenitors Carrying Clonal p53 Mutations.

    Murai K, Skrupskelyte G, Piedrafita G, Hall M, Kostiou V et al.

    Cell stem cell 2018

  • A single dividing cell population with imbalanced fate drives oesophageal tumour growth.

    Frede J, Greulich P, Nagy T, Simons BD and Jones PH

    Nature cell biology 2016;18;9;967-78

  • Human keratinocytes have two interconvertible modes of proliferation.

    Roshan A, Murai K, Fowler J, Simons BD, Nikolaidou-Neokosmidou V and Jones PH

    Nature cell biology 2016;18;2;145-56

  • Tumor evolution. High burden and pervasive positive selection of somatic mutations in normal human skin.

    Martincorena I, Roshan A, Gerstung M, Ellis P, Van Loo P et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2015;348;6237;880-6

  • Differentiation imbalance in single oesophageal progenitor cells causes clonal immortalization and field change.

    Alcolea MP, Greulich P, Wabik A, Frede J, Simons BD and Jones PH

    Nature cell biology 2014;16;6;615-22

  • A single progenitor population switches behavior to maintain and repair esophageal epithelium.

    Doupé DP, Alcolea MP, Roshan A, Zhang G, Klein AM et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2012;337;6098;1091-3

  • The ordered architecture of murine ear epidermis is maintained by progenitor cells with random fate.

    Doupé DP, Klein AM, Simons BD and Jones PH

    Developmental cell 2010;18;2;317-23

  • Stochastic fate of p53-mutant epidermal progenitor cells is tilted toward proliferation by UV B during preneoplasia.

    Klein AM, Brash DE, Jones PH and Simons BD

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2010;107;1;270-5

  • A single type of progenitor cell maintains normal epidermis.

    Clayton E, Doupé DP, Klein AM, Winton DJ, Simons BD and Jones PH

    Nature 2007;446;7132;185-9

  • Notch signaling regulates the differentiation of post-mitotic intestinal epithelial cells.

    Zecchini V, Domaschenz R, Winton D and Jones P

    Genes & development 2005;19;14;1686-91

Career/Research Highlights

Jones, Phil H
Phil's Timeline

Publication: Mutations in normal oesophagus


Publication: Mutations in normal skin

Joined Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute


Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences


Publication: Oesophageal stem cells


Programme Leader, MRC Cancer Unit


Publication: Basis of epidermal homeostasis


PhD, London University