Past Event

IICD Seminar Series: Trevor Graham, The Institute of Cancer Research

March 15, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
On Campus Schermerhorn Hall 603

The Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics will continue its seminar series on the topic of mathematical sciences underpinning cancer research during the 2022-2023 academic year. The monthly seminars take place on the third Wednesday of the month, 2:00-3:00 PM EST. The presentations are open to the Columbia community (in person and online) and to researchers outside Columbia (via Zoom).

On Wednesday, March 15th (2:00 PM ET), IICD welcomes Trevor Graham, PhD, Professor of Genomics and Evolution, Director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer, The Institute of Cancer Research. Seminar hosted by Simon Tavaré, FRS. The seminar will take place in person in Schermerhorn Hall 603 (Morningside Heights campus). If you wish to attend the seminar remotely, please register using the following link:


Title: Inferring the Drivers of Cancer Evolution of a Tumour-by-Tumour Basis

Abstract: Cancer driver genes have been identified by looking across large cohorts of genomic data for mutational patterns that differ from background expectation. This powerful approach identifies genes that are, on average, drivers in the cohort. However, the status of a gene as a driver in any individual cancer remains uncertain. In this talk, I will describe how multi-region sequencing, phylogenetics and computational biology provides an in vivo test of “driverness” directly in patient tumours. If a driver is under selection, it leads to characteristic patterning of intra-tumour heterogeneity. Application of this method in a colorectal cancer dataset shows many putative drivers are not actually under appreciable selection in individual cancers, and also that some subclonal expansions are driven by as-yet unknown driver alterations. Further, overlaying other ‘omic data provides a route to characterise cancer cell phenotypic plasticity in vivo, and to discover non-genetic drivers of cancer evolution.

Speaker Bio: Prof Trevor Graham is Director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. His background is in mathematics and his interdisciplinary research group combines theory and experiment to understand how cancers evolve. For his contributions to the understanding of cancer genome evolution he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2022.


Contact Information

Lorenza Favrot