Michael Stratton's primary research interests have been in the genetics of cancer. His early research focused on inherited susceptibility. He mapped and identified the major high-risk breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2 and subsequently a series of moderate-risk breast cancer and other cancer susceptibility genes. In 2000 he initiated the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute which conducts systematic genome-wide searches for somatic mutations in human cancer. Through these studies he discovered somatic mutations of the BRAF gene in malignant melanoma and several other mutated cancer genes in lung, renal, breast and other cancers. He has described the basic patterns of somatic mutation in cancer genomes revealing underlying DNA mutational and repair processes. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and was knighted by the Queen in 2013.
Signatures of Mutational Processes
All cancers are caused by somatic mutations. However, the processes underlying the genesis of somatic mutations in human cancer are remarkably poorly understood. Recent large-scale cancer genome sequencing initiatives have provided us with new insights into these mutational processes through the mutational signatures they leave on the cancer genome. In this talk I will review the mutational signatures found across cancer and consider the underlying mutational processes that have been operative.