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 multi-omic and functional assays, and development and application of advanced machine learning and mathematical modelling approaches.

Francesca is 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-omic cancer 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 a postdoctoral research fellowship in Mathematical Modelling and Biostatistics at the Gray Cancer Institute, London, before joining the Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, first as a postdoctoral research fellow in Bioinformatics / Biostatistics, then as Group Leader of the Computational Biology and Integrative Genomics Lab.

In addition to her research work, she teaches at national and international Masters Courses and Advanced Schools, including courses at the University of Oxford and University of Tsukuba (Japan), and the Advanced Courses at the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge. She has served on project grant and fellowship selection committees for several national and international research funding agencies, including Horizon2020, the European Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the UK Research Institute and Cancer Research UK, among others. She is a member of national and international evaluation panels, including REF-2021, and acts as bioinformatics and statistics advisor for genomics clinical research studies.

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