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AACR 2021 | Harnessing the value of mutational signatures in whole cancer genomes

Serena Nik-Zainal, MD, PhD, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, provides an update in the field of mutational signatures in whole cancer genomes, focusing on validation of abstract mathematical concepts, untangling the mechanisms underpinning mutation patterns in human somatic cells, and describing the new insights that gained through combinations of computational analysis and experiments in cell-based systems. Dr Nik-Zainal also talks on the 100,000 Genome Project in the United Kingdom, which allowed for the sequencing and analysis of cancer genomes as well as the findings observed. This interview took place at the virtual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021.


Serena Nik-Zainal, MD, PhD, has participated in consultancy work for Artios Pharma Ltd, the AstraZeneca Breast Expert Panel and the Scottish Genomes Partnership; has received grants or research support from Cancer Research UK, the Dr Josef Steiner Foundation, NIHR Cambridge core, the Medical Research Council UK, Wellcome and the Basser Initiative Gray Foundation; is the co-founder of Mu Genomics; and has patent filings/publications on six mutational-signature-based algorithms for clinical classification.