Prof. Serena Nik-Zainal, Big Data Analytics, Best Researcher Award

Professor at University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Professional Profile

Google Scholar Profile
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🎓 Education 

  • University of Cambridge
    • B.A. (hons) – First, Physiology, 1998
    • M.B., B.Chir., Medicine/Surgery, 2000
  • Royal College of Physicians
    • M.R.C.P., Medicine, 2003
  • Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
    • Ph.D., Cancer Genomics, 2012
  • Royal College of Physicians Specialist Register
    • Certification, Clinical Genetics, 2013

🌟 Personal Statement 

After earning a first-class degree in preclinical science and a medical degree from the University of Cambridge, sponsored by Petroliam Nasional Berhad Malaysia (PETRONAS) and as a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, I specialized in Clinical Genetics. I have been an Honorary Consultant in Clinical Genetics at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since February 2013. My Ph.D. at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in 2012 focused on using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to explore cancer, leading to significant advancements in understanding tumor biology and mutational signatures. My current research integrates computational and experimental approaches to advance cancer genomics, developing machine-learning-based clinical algorithms and participating in large-scale projects like the UK 100,000 Genomes Project.

🏢 Positions and Honors 

Positions and Employment

  • Medical Student, University of Cambridge (1995-2000)
  • Pre-registration House Officer, East Anglian Deanery (2001-2002)
  • Senior House Officer, Medicine, East Anglian Deanery (2002-2004)
  • Specialist Registrar in Clinical Genetics, East Anglian Deanery (2004-2009)
  • Wellcome Clinical Research Training Fellow, Wellcome Sanger Institute (2009-2012)
  • Specialist Registrar in Clinical Genetics, East Anglian Deanery (2012-2013)
  • Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Research Training Fellow, Wellcome Sanger Institute (2013-2017)
  • Career Development Fellow, Wellcome Sanger Institute (2014-2017)
  • CRUK Advanced Clinician Scientist, University of Cambridge (2017-2021)
  • NIHR Research Professor of Genomic Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Cambridge (2021-present)

Professional Memberships and Other Experience

  • Member, British Society of Genetic Medicine (2013-present)
  • EACR Ambassador (2015-present)
  • Member, Various Scientific Advisory Boards and Committees (2017-present)
  • Honorary NHS Consultant in Clinical Genetics, Cambridge University Hospital (2013-present)


  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences UK (2023)
  • Foulkes Foundation Medal UK (2021)
  • Sir Francis Crick Medal and Lecture from the Royal Society UK (2021)
  • Highly-Cited Researcher’s List Clarivate (2020)
  • EMBO Elected Fellow (2020)
  • Dr Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award (2019)
  • CRUK Pioneer Award (2016)
  • William Bate Hardy Prize (2014)
  • CRUK Future Leaders Prize (2014)
  • Wellcome-Beit Prize (2013)
  • AACR Scholar-in-training Award (2013)
  • EACR Susan G. Komen Prize (2012)
  • Robin Winter Prize (2012)

📚 Research Support 

Ongoing Research Support

  • NHSE Driver Project (Jan 2023-Mar 2024)
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation (Oct 2022-ongoing)
  • CRUK/NIH Grand Challenge eDyNAmic (Jun 2022-May 2027)
  • UKRI DARE Sprint Exemplar (Jan 2022-Oct 2022)
  • NIHR Research Professorship (Dec 2021-Nov 2026)
  • Basser Gray Foundation Award (Dec 2020-Nov 2024)
  • Josef Steiner Award (Jun 2019-May 2023)

Completed Research Support

  • CRUK Early Detection Project Award (Jun 2019-May 2023)
  • CRUK Grand Challenge Award (May 2017-Apr 2024)
  • CRUK Advanced Clinician Scientist Award (Feb 2017-Oct 2022)
  • CRUK Pioneer Award (Oct 2016-Nov 2020)
  • Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (Sept 2013-July 2019)
  • Wellcome-Beit Prize (May 2013-May 2018)
  • Wellcome Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship (Feb 2013-Jan 2017)

Beyond science, I have shared insights on women in STEM and my journey as a physician-scientist through essays in renowned journals.

đź“– Publication Top Noted:

Paper Title: The patterns and dynamics of genomic instability in metastatic pancreatic cancer
  • Authors: Peter J Campbell, Shinichi Yachida, Laura J Mudie, Philip J Stephens, Erin D Pleasance, Lucy A Stebbings, Laura A Morsberger, Calli Latimer, Stuart McLaren, Meng-Lay Lin, David J McBride, Ignacio Varela, Serena A Nik-Zainal, Catherine Leroy, Mingming Jia, Andrew Menzies, Adam P Butler, Jon W Teague, Constance A Griffin, John Burton, Harold Swerdlow, Michael A Quail, Michael R Stratton, Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, P Andrew Futreal
  • Journal: Nature
  • Year:  2010
  • citations: 1560
Paper Title: Pan-cancer analysis of whole genomes
  • Authors: Dendy Adanta, Imam Syofii, Dewi Puspita Sari, Apri Wiyono
  • Journal: Nature
  • Year:  2020
  •  citations: 1736
Paper Title: Mutational signatures associated with tobacco smoking in human cancer
  • Authors:Ludmil B Alexandrov, Young Seok Ju, Kerstin Haase, Peter Van Loo, Iñigo Martincorena, Serena Nik-Zainal, Yasushi Totoki, Akihiro Fujimoto, Hidewaki Nakagawa, Tatsuhiro Shibata, Peter J Campbell, Paolo Vineis, David H Phillips, Michael R Stratton
  • Journal: Science
  • Year:  2016
  •  citations: 1034
Paper Title: Clock-like mutational processes in human somatic cells
  • Authors: Ludmil B Alexandrov, Philip H Jones, David C Wedge, Julian E Sale, Peter J Campbell, Serena Nik-Zainal, Michael R Stratton
  • Journal: Nature genetics
  • Year:  2015
  •  citations: 990
Paper Title: Heterogeneity of genomic evolution and mutational profiles in multiple myeloma
  • Authors: Niccolo Bolli, HervĂ© Avet-Loiseau, David C Wedge, Peter Van Loo, Ludmil B Alexandrov, Inigo Martincorena, Kevin J Dawson, Francesco Iorio, Serena Nik-Zainal, Graham R Bignell, Jonathan W Hinton, Yilong Li, Jose MC Tubio, Stuart McLaren, Sarah O’Meara, Adam P Butler, Jon W Teague, Laura Mudie, Elizabeth Anderson, Naim Rashid, Yu-Tzu Tai, Masood A Shammas, Adam S Sperling, Mariateresa Fulciniti, Paul G Richardson, Giovanni Parmigiani, Florence Magrangeas, Stephane Minvielle, Philippe Moreau, Michel Attal, Thierry Facon, P Andrew Futreal, Kenneth C Anderson, Peter J Campbell, Nikhil C Munshi
  • Journal: Nature communications
  • Year: 2014
  •  citations: 963
Serena Nik-Zainal | Big Data Analytics | Best Researcher Award

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