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David Barnes

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

I work in the OxSarc research group within NDORMS as a sarcoma genomics and clinical informatics research associate. My research efforts are directed towards understanding the genetic basis of different forms of sarcoma using next generation sequencing technologies with the aim of improving treatments offered to patients. Since sarcoma is a collective term for a range of tumours arising within bone, cartilage or muscle, it is vital to identify the specific type of sarcoma that a patient has when making a diagnosis. Our goal is to ensure that diagnoses are accurate and reliable by obtaining detailed and unambiguous genetic evidence. We are developing a diagnostic panel for chromosomal translocation-associated sarcomas, in collaboration with the Molecular Diagnostics laboratory at the John Radcliffe Hospital, based on high throughput RNA-Seq. This was successfully trialled using samples from the OxSarc tumour collection held by the Oxford Musculoskeletal Biobank at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

Our other research projects are concerned with: investigating relationships between beta catenin mutations and post-translational modification of the expressed protein in desmoid fibromatosis, use of CAS9-CRISPR genome editing to test tumour cell 'addiction' to the EWSR1-FLI1 oncogene and finding determinants of resistance to therapy in Ewing sarcoma. This latter project draws on data from LINES, a phase II clinical trial begun in April 2014 to evaluate the drug linsitinib for patients with relapsed and/or refractory Ewing sarcoma.