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Fiona (Kogera) Okonjo

PhD, MRes, MSc, BSc

Postdoctoral Research Scientist


My research interest is in understanding how epigenetic modifications promote development and drug resistance in breast cancer, and whether these modifications can be targeted to improve response to breast cancer therapies. Specifically, I am working on identifying and characterising determinants of histone H3K36me3-deficiency in breast cancer, which may be targeted for breast cancer treatment.  

Fiona has previously held research appointments at Oxford Gene Technology where she worked in Professor Sir Edwin Southern’s group, developing a novel single cell DNA microarray platform. Fiona then joined Dr Mathew Garnett’s group at Wellcome-Trust Sanger Institute, where she carried out high-throughput drug screens to identify and validate biomarkers of drug sensitivity. Following completion of her PhD, Fiona worked in the laboratory of Professor Andrew Tutt at the Institute of Cancer Research, where she worked on validating PIM1 kinase inhibitors in triple negative breast cancers.


Fiona earned her BSc in Genetics at the University of Liverpool in 2008. She worked in the laboratory of Dr Janet Risk studying the epigenetic regulation of the tumour suppressor gene, Cytoglobin, in head and neck cancer. After graduation, Fiona joined a Master’s program at Imperial College London. At Imperial College, Fiona worked in the laboratory of Dr Justin Sturge where she studied the mechanism through which the uPA-uPAR-Endo180 signalling promoted chemotaxis of metastatic prostate cancer cells. In 2014, she started her PhD at King’s College London under the supervision of Professor Joy Burchell and Professor Joyce Taylor-Papadimitriou. Her PhD work focused on understanding the role of the histone demethylase KDM5B, in the normal and malignant mammary gland. In 2018, Fiona started as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Chromosome Integrity group, Department of Oncology, University of Oxford. 

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