University of St Andrews

Mackenzie Institute for Early Diagnosis

Mr Christopher Peters

Christopher Peters went to medical school in Leeds and after completing basic surgical training moved to Cambridge to carry out a PhD with Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald. During his PhD he developed a four gene signature to predict outcome in oesophageal adenocarcinoma which was validated in 371 independent cases. He also set up the OCCAMS collaboration which went on to be selected to run the International Cancer Genome Consortium’s Whole Genome sequencing project in oesophageal adenocarcinoma. OCCAMS has now recruited in excess of 4000 patients and resulted in over 35 publications including in Nature (2 papers), Nature Genetics (4 papers) and Nature Communications (4 papers).
After moving to London to complete his higher surgical training he was appointed as a Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Upper GI surgeon at Imperial College London with a specialist interest in transitioning new technologies to the patient. As the Biomarker lead for the NIHR London IVD Co-operative he has a programme built around trying to better understand which Biomarkers are likely to achieve clinical adoption- aiming to bridge the gap between the millions spent on Biomarker discovery and validation and the handful that achieve clinical success.

Professor Jon Deeks

Jon Deeks is Professor of Biostatistics and leads the Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation Research Group in the Institute of Applied Health Research. He is also a Theme Lead within the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre.  Jon’s current major focus is in test evaluation. He is the senior methodologist on numerous primary evaluations and systematic reviews of medical tests, leads the Cochrane Collaboration’s test evaluation activities, and has advises the WHO on test evaluation methods. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator Emeritus and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is an enthusiastic teacher of statistics and research methods, and frequently runs workshops, particularly related to test evaluation, at local, national and international events.

Dr Clare Turnbull

Clare is Professor of Translational Cancer Genetics in the Division of Genetics and Epidemiology at the Institute of Cancer Research London and NHS honorary clinical cancer genetics at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, focusing on management of patients and families with genetic susceptibility to cancer. From 2014 to 2020, Clare worked at Genomics England as Clinical Lead for Cancer Genomics for the 100,000 Genomes Project.
Much of her research focuses on statistical, population and public-health-related analyses to better implement cancer susceptibility genetics for risk stratification, cancer early diagnosis and prevention. She has for the last 7 years had an honorary appointment at NHS Digital in the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS), leading on national amalgamation and analyses of variant data from all NHS diagnostic labs in England, supported by a multicentre CRUK-funded Catalyst Award: ‘CanGene-CanVar’.  She also leads a number of NHS genomics transformation initiatives around simplifying pathways for BRCA-testing.
Clare studied undergraduate medicine at Cambridge, clinical medicine at Oxford, undertook a Masters in epidemiology and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in statistical genetics at The Institute of Cancer Research.

Dr Andreas Halner

Andreas Halner completed pre-clinical medicine training and a DPhil (PhD) in Clinical Medicine and Machine Learning at the University of Oxford. Andreas’ leadership experience includes his role as the Chief Data Scientist of a European Clinical Research Collaboration on lung disease from 2019 onwards. From 2018-2023, Andreas has held the Head Pathology Tutor for Medicine post at St John’s College, providing one third of the medical curriculum for second year medical students. He has designed multiple new mathematical and clinical paradigms for defining disease states, developing algorithms for treatment outcome prediction and treatment monitoring. Andreas is an experienced entrepreneur and has mentored numerous start-up companies in the healthcare and biotech sectors.