Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Connect with me

Francesca Buffa


Associate Professor

  • Principal Investigator, Cancer Research UK and European Research Council
  • Group Leader, Computational Biology and Integrative Genomics
  • Academic Lead for Bioinformatics

Research Summary

Francesca research focuses on system medicine approaches that help us understand cancer as a complex system.

Key to this work are cutting edge omics and functional assays, and development and application of advanced machine learning and mathematical modelling approaches.

Francesca leads a multidisciplinary lab funded by Cancer Reseach UK and the European Research Council to investigate how cancer cells re-wire their molecular networks to adapt to a heterogeneous and dynamic tumour microenvironment.

Her lab develops multi-omics classifiers and executable cancer models that enable in-silico experimentation to identify likely resistance mechanisms, predict effective drug combinations, and identify strategies for cancers that are currently incurable.


After a Masters Degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of Turin, Francesca completed a PhD in Physics and Mathematical Modelling at the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London. She then undertook postdoctoral research at the Gray Cancer Institute, London, before joining the Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, first as a postdoctoral research fellow, then as Principal Investigator and Head of the Computational Biology and Integrative Genomics Lab.

In addition to her research work, Francesca Buffa teaches post-graduate courses, including the new MSc in Precision Cancer Medicine, where she leads the genomics module, and MSc in Radiation Biology, where she teaches  statistics and genomics. She also teaches at national and international Masters Courses and Advanced Schools, including yearly MSc courses at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and the Advanced Courses at the Wellcome Genome Campus, University of Cambridge, UK.

Francesca Buffa has served on several national and international committees, including funding agencies Horizon2020, the European Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the UK Research Institute and Cancer Research UK. She is also a member of national and international evaluation panels, including REF-2021.

She authored over 130 publications, several in high impact journals, and she is the recipient of a Cancer Research UK Programme and European Research Council Programme Award.

Group Members

Alessandro Barberis, Postdoctoral Researcher
Philip Charlton, Clinical Research Training Fellow
Wei-Chen Cheng, Postdoctoral Researcher
Yueachan Chi, DPhil Student
Matteo Di Giovannantonio, DPhil Student
Ava Van Ess, DPhil Student
Giovanna Granata, Postdoctoral Researcher
Joachim Hagel, DPhil Student
Ben Harris, Clinical Research Training Fellow
Fiona Hartley, DPhil student
Sakura Maezono, DPhil Student (based in Tsukuba University, Japan)
Ana Miar Cuervo, Postdoctoral Researcher
Dawn O'Reilly, Postdoctoral Researcher
Jayathilake Pahala Gedara, Postdoctoral Researcher
Clara Pavillet, DPhil Student
Karen Sayal, DPhil Student
Charalampos Triantafyllidis, Postdoctoral Researcher
Pedro Victori, DPhil Student