Professor Sir Nicholas Wright

Professor Sir Nicholas Wright

MD PhD DSc FRCS FRCP FRCPath FMedSci
Centre: Centre for Tumour Biology
Fellowships:
  • Fellow of Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College
Centre Lead, Centre for Tumour Biology
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QMUL Directory

Epithelial Stem Cell Biology Group

Our recearch interests include clonal evolution in colorectal adenomas and inflammation-associated cancer, the nature of Barrett’s glands, and the design of methods to explore neutral drift in stem cell divisions in normal human tissues.

Research Details

We try to design methods for the analysis of stem cell biology in human tissues with the aim of understanding the role of stem cells in the maintenance of normal tissue architecture and the progression to malignancy.

We have championed the use of mutations in mitochondrial and genomic DNA as clonal markers, and combined these with the analysis of methylation patterns in non-expressed genes to give a time dimension to the clonal expansion of stem cells in normal and malignant tissues.

Thus we have been able to show the location of the stem cell niche in a number of tissues, including the prostate, gastrointestinal and liver epithelia, and to explore clonal expansion of mutant clones in Barrett’s oesophagus, gastric intestinal metaplasia and colorectal adenomas.

We have also been able to follow the development of pre-tumour clones in the colon during pre-neoplastic evolution in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Our recent interests include studies on clonal evolution in colorectal adenomas and inflammation-associated cancer, the nature of Barrett’s glands, and the design of methods to explore neutral drift in stem cell divisions in normal human tissues.

Profile

  • 2012-Present: Professor of Histopathology, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London
  • 1988–2011: Group Leader, Histopathology Unit, Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, UK
  • 2001-2011: Warden, Barts and the London, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London UK
  • 2001–2011: Professor of Investigative Science, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London UK; Honorary Consultant Histopathologist, Barts and the London NHS Trust; UK Visiting Chairs at University College London and University of Oxford
  • 1997–2000:  Deputy Principal and Vice-Principal for Research, Imperial College School of Medicine, UK
  • 1996–1997: Dean, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, UK
  • 1988-1996: Director of Clinical Research, ICRF, UK
  • 1980–1996: Professor of Histopathology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, UK; Director of Histopathology, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's SHA, UK; Honorary Consultant Histopathologist, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's SHA, UK
  • 1997-1979: Nuffield Reader in Pathology, University of Oxford, UK; Honorary Consultant Pathologist, Oxford University Hospital Group, UK; Fellow, Green College, UK
  • 1975-1976: Senior Lecturer in Pathology, University of Newcastle-upon Tyne, UK; Honorary Consultant Pathologist, Newcastle University Hospitals Group, UK
  • 1971-1975: Lecturer in Pathology, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
  • 1985: DSc, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • 1979: MA, University of Oxford
  • 1975: PhD University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • 1973: MD, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • 1965: MB BS, Durham University

Funding

  • 2012-2017: Cancer Research UK Programme grant “Clonal expansion in colorectal adenomas, the development of Barrett’s oesophagus and the clonal evolution of mutated clones in Barrett’s epithelium and clonal expansion in inflammatory bowel disease” £560,547
  • 2009: London SHA Integrated Academic Training Funding

Key Publications

Baker AM, Cereser B, Melton S, Fletcher AG, Rodriguez-Justo M, Tadrous PJ, Humphries A, Elia G, McDonald SA, Wright NA, Simons BD, Jansen M, Graham TA. Quantification of crypt and stem cell evolution in the normal and neoplastic human colon. Cell Rep. 2014 Aug 21;8(4):940-7. PMID: 25127143

2. Lavery DL, Nicholson AM, Poulsom R, Jeffery R, Hussain A, Gay LJ, Jankowski JA, Zeki SS, Barr H, Harrison R, Going J, Kadirkamanathan S, Davis P, Underwood T, Novelli MR, Rodriguez-Justo M, Shepherd N, Jansen M, Wright NA, McDonald SA. The stem cell organisation, and the proliferative and gene expression profile of Barrett's epithelium, replicates pyloric-type gastric glands. Gut. 2014 Feb 18. pii: gutjnl-2013-306508. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-306508. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24550372

3. Humphries A, Cereser B, Gay LJ, Miller DS, Das B, Gutteridge A, Elia G, Nye E, Jeffery R, Poulsom R, Novelli MR, Rodriguez-Justo M, McDonald SA, Wright NA, Graham TA. Lineage tracing reveals multipotent stem cells maintain human adenomas and the pattern of clonal expansion in tumor evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 2;110(27):E2490-9. PMID: 23766371

 


Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here


Our recearch interests include clonal evolution in colorectal adenomas and inflammation-associated cancer, the nature of Barrett’s glands, and the design of methods to explore neutral drift in stem cell divisions in normal human tissues.

External Activities

  • Trustee, Ovarian Cancer Action
  • Chairman, Scientific Committee, British Skin Diseases Research Trust
  • Chairman, Kings Health Partners R&D Challenge Fund Scientific Committee
  • Chairman, UEA Clinical Academic Initiative Advisory Board
  • Chairman, Bowel & Cancer Research Committee
  • Editorial Boards of Gastroenterology, Journal of Pathology, International Journal of Experimental Pathology and Cell Proliferation

 

News

  • July 2015 - Awarded an Honorary DSc by Aston University
  • 9th January 2013 - Talk ‘Pre-tumour Progression in the Gastrointestinal Tract' 
    The Winter Meeting of the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland and the Dutch Pathological Society, Utrecht
  • 5th October 2012 - Seminar at the Institute of Biomedicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden (programme)
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