skip to content



Sarah trained in Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, with an intercalated BMedSci in Experimental Pathology and postgraduate MSc in Translational Medicine. She completed her Histopathology training in Cambridge as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow and subsequently NIHR Clinical Lecturer. She undertook a mixed experimental-computational PhD at the CRUK Cambridge Institute, followed by a bioinformatics fellowship at the IRB Barcelona. Sarah started her research group at the MRC Toxicology Unit in 2021 and is also an Honorary Consultant Pathologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.


Research Interests:

The overall aim of our interdisciplinary research group is to investigate mechanisms of cellular damage, and to understand their consequences for human health and disease. We use experimental and computational approaches to study genomic, cellular, and tissue-level responses to environmental and drug-induced insults. By exploiting genomics and pathomics techniques, we study normal and diseased cells and tissues to identify molecular mechanisms which are dysregulated in disease, including cancer.



Key publications: 

Ginno PA, Borgers H, Ernst C, Schneider A, Behm M, Aitken SJ, Taylor MS and Odom DT. Single-mitosis dissection of acute and chronic DNA mutagenesis and repair. Nature Genetics (2024).

Anderson CJ, Talman L, Luft J, Nicholson MD, Connelly J, Pich O, Campbell S, Sundaram V, Connor F, Ginno PA, Liver Cancer Evolution Consortium, López-Bigas N, Flicek P, Semple CA, Odom DT*, Aitken SJ* and Taylor MS*. Strand-resolved mutagenicity of DNA damage and repairbioRxiv, (2022)

Ng SWK, Rouhani FJ, Brunner SF, Brzozowska N, Aitken SJ, Yang M, Abascal F, Moore L, Nikitopoulou E, Chappell L, Leongamornlert D, Ivovic A, Robinson P, Butler T, Sanders MA, Williams N, Coorens THH, Teague J, Raine K, Butler AP, Hooks Y, Wilson B, Birtchnell N, Naylor H, Davies SE, Stratton MR, Martincorena I, Rahbari R, Frezza C, Hoare M and Campbell PJ. Convergent somatic mutations in metabolism genes in chronic liver diseaseNature; 598:473-478. (2021)

Aitken SJ, Anderson CJ, Connor F, Pich O, Sundaram V, Feig C, Rayner TF, Lukk M, Aitken S, Luft J, Kentepozidou E, Arnedo-Pac C, Beentjes SV, Davies SE, Drews SM, Ewing A, Kaiser VB, Khamseh A, López-Arribillaga E, Redmond AM, Santoyo-Lopez J, Sentís I, Talmane L, Yates AD, Liver Cancer Evolution Consortium, Semple CA, López-Bigas N, Flicek P, Odom DT and Taylor MS. Pervasive lesion segregation shapes cancer genome evolutionNature; 583:265-270. (2020) 

Brunner SF, Roberts ND, Wylie LA, Moore L, Aitken SJ, Davies SE, Sanders M, Ellis P, Alder C, Hooks Y, Abascal F, Stratton MR, Martincorena I, Hoare M and Campbell PJ. Somatic mutations and clonal dynamics in healthy and cirrhotic human liverNature; 574:538-542. (2019) 

Aitken SJ**, Ibarra-Sor­ia X**, Kentepozidou E, Flicek P, Feig C, Marioni JC and Odom DT. CTCF maintains regulatory homeostasis of cancer pathwaysGenome Biology;19:106. (2018)

*corresponding authors; **contributed equally.

View all publications

MRC Investigator
CRUK Clinician Scientist

Contact Details

MRC Toxicology Unit
Gleeson Building
Tennis Court Road