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Early Cancer Institute


The Early Cancer Institute Affiliate programme provides an opportunity for us to cement ties with fellow Institutes and Departments in order to build scientific collaboration and exchange ideas with mutual benefit to the Affiliate, the Affiliate’s Department and the Early Cancer Institute.

Dr Danny Temko - MRC Biostatistics Unit

After completing a first degree in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Oxford, Danny obtained his PhD in computational biology from UCL. He completed a first postdoctoral role at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, then returned to the UK as a Research Associate at the MRC Biostatistics Unit. Danny’s research centres around the development and application of statistical machine learning methods, with a view to enabling improved personalised cancer risk prediction and early detection strategies.

Dr Sanne van Neerven - Gurdon Institute

Sanne van Neerven is a senior researcher at the Gurdon Institute (University of Cambridge) in the lab of Prof. Dr. Ben Simons and a research fellow at Gonville and Caius College. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences (University of Amsterdam) and obtained her Masters’ in Oncology (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) before pursuing a PhD in the Amsterdam University Medical Centers with Prof. Dr. Louis Vermeulen.

Her work focuses on the earliest molecular events that drive tumour initiation by studying the competition between normal and mutant cells from the first moment they arise in tissues. Her team previously discovered a new mechanism of tumour initiation in the mammalian intestine, supercompetition, by which mutant cells actively disadvantage normal neighbours to facilitate colorectal cancer development. For her work on cell competition, Sanne was awarded the International Birnstiel award (2021), the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science - Rising Talent Award (2022) and the Cancer Center Amsterdam Best Preclinical Thesis award (2023). Currently, she is expanding her research on cell competition to develop rational chemoprevention strategies for all hereditary cancer syndromes.