Philip Jones researches the earliest stages in cancer development, studying the mutant cells that colonize normal ageing tissues and the first steps in tumour formation.
Phil showed that aging normal skin and oesophagus are a dense patchwork of somatic mutant clones. Having resolved normal cell dynamics in skin and oesophagus, he then uncovered the cellular mechanisms of mutant clone expansion and competitive selection of mutant genes. He demonstrated that environmental exposures linked to increased cancer risk can alter the fitness of specific mutant clones. Phil has also found that mutant genes can either be oncogenic or inhibit cancer development by outcompeting emerging tumours.
Phil is Professor of Cancer Development at the University of Cambridge and a Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.
Professor of Cancer Development, University of Cambridge Senior Group Leader, Wellcome Sanger Institute, University of Cambridge
Interest and expertise
Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology