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David Clynes

BSc (Hons) D.Phil (Oxon)

Group Leader

Research Summary

My group is interested in exploring how ATRX prevents normal cells from elongating their telomeres via the ALT pathway, leading to tumorigenesis and trying to understand the role of ATRX in DNA replication and repair.

In addition we are interested in the identification of new drugs that could potentially be used to target ALT cancer cells. The challenge of identifying new cancer drugs can be approached in different ways. One way is understanding which gene and proteins underpin an abnormal characteristic of a cancer cell (in this case aberrant telomere lengthening or the lack of ATRX) to identify new targets for the rational design of drugs.  A second way is screening pre-existing drug libraries and testing them for their ability to limit the growth of, or preferentially kill, ALT cancer cells that lack ATRX.


David is a Group Leader within the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology and Department of Oncology, based at the MR Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. After obtaining his PhD in the School of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford in 2008, he undertook postdoctoral work with Richard Gibbons and Doug Higgs in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Oxford. 

He has been awarded a Children with Cancer UK Paul O'Gorman Research Fellowship and took up this position in January 2017.


Samuel Dunkley, MRes Student
Deanne Gracias, MRes Student
Thomas Kent, DPhil Student