Dr Fiona Behan

Postdoctoral Fellow


This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

Fiona uses cutting edge genome editing CRISPR technology to carry out genome-wide synthetic lethal screens in order to identify potential novel oncogenic therapeutic targets. Using her background in molecular biology and high throughput screening, Fiona aims to leverage large scale, genome wide screens to develop effective anti-cancer strategies.

Funded through the Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation (CTTV), our current research uses CRISPR-Cas9 technology to define synthetic-lethal dependences in cancer cell lines. This work aims to find new oncology drug targets.

My research interests lie in bridging the gap between basic molecular biology and genome wide screens in a cancer research setting. With an interest in bioinformatics, I enjoy working at the interface between the ‘big data’ generated by large screens and the validation of positive targets at the bench. Working in the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has allowed me to expand my research interests into several cancer types through the cancer cell line collection.

My previous research experience used small interfering RNA to investigate the molecular medicine of oesophageal cancer. I was also involved in a project in the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge classifying canine sarcoma tumours using microRNA profiles.

The ever changing landscape of genomic research requires the cooperation of multidisciplinary teams to extract the biologically relevant information. At the Sanger Institute and as a member of the CTTV, I am eager to be involved in the collaborative approach to identify novel therapeutic targets in the fight against cancer.

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