Hayley Francies

Senior Staff Scientist

Within the Translational Cancer Genomics group, Hayley's work is focused upon the derivation, charcterisation and use of cancer organoid models for phenotypic screens to identify novel cancer therapies/targets and genetic biomarkers of drug response. Hayley is also the project lead for the Sanger Institute's cell models generation efforts as part of the Human Cancer Models Initiative.

Much of the work within the Translational Cancer Genomics group has been focused upon the use of our extensive cancer cell line collection to conduct high-throughput drug and CRISPR knock-out screens to identify novel therapies and biomarkers of response. However, for many cancer types, the cell line collection fails to encompass the genetic breadth of the disease and thus we are utilising the organoid technology to expand our cell line collection.

Our initial work contributed to evidence in field demonstrating that cancer organoid models faithfully captured the genomics of the tumour of origin as well as much of the genetic breadth of the disease and further were amenable to drug screening. Subsequently, the Sanger Institute is one of the founding members of the Human Cancer Models Initiative, an international effort to derive and characteise the next-generation of cancer models and importantly to make the models and datasets widely available to the research community. 

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