Professor Mark Wass
Head of the School of Biosciences
Mark obtained a BA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in 2000 followed by an MSc in Computing at Imperial College London (2001). After a few years working in industry as an IT consultant, Mark studied for a PhD with Professor Mike Sternberg at Imperial (2004-2008) and continued on to a post-doctoral position in the group until 2011. In 2011 Mark was awarded a FEBS Long Term Fellowship to work in the group of Alfonso Valencia at the CNIO (Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Madrid, Spain).
Mark joined the School of Biosciences at Kent in October 2012 as a Lecturer in Computational Biology and now runs a joint wet/dry laboratory research group together with Martin Michaelis.
Mark’s research focusses in two main areas. The first is the development of novel computational methods for the analysis of large scale biological data, particularly methods for the prediction of protein structure, function and interactions. The second area is the application of such methods to address important biological problems. These cover the association of genetic variation with human disease, investigating mechanisms and biomarkers of acquired resistance to anti-cancer drugs and also identifying determinants of pathogenicity in viruses.
In the area of acquired resistance in cancer, Mark’s research focusses on using the Resistant Cancer Cell Line Collection (RCCL), a unique collection of >1,300 cancer cell lines with acquired resistance to anti-cancer drugs, which provides a model to study how tumours become resistant to anti-cancer drugs during treatment. In the area of computational virology Mark’s research initially focussed on investigating determinants of Ebola virus pathogenicity, in 2016, Mark won the International Society of Computational Biology ‘Fight against Ebola award’. Mark’s continues research on Ebola virus and has expanded this area of research to other viruses including Marburg virus and Zika virus.
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