Edinburgh Research Explorer

Andrew Sims

Senior Research Fellow

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

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Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Manchester
Comparative and functional genomics in the Aspergilli and its relation to protein secretion
Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh
Biological Sciences (Hon. Microbiology)

Professional Qualifications

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA


After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc.(Hon) in Biological Sciences, Andy began work at the British Antarctic Survey laboratories in Cambridge, characterizing the biodiversity of soil samples. He then worked as a Clinical Scientist at the Public Health Laboratories at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, developing real-time quantitative methods for routine molecular diagnostic analysis.


In September 2001, Andy moved to Manchester to study for a PhD in Aspergillus genomics in the laboratory of Prof. Steve Oliver. During this period, whole-genome sequencing of several species of filamentous fungi were completed, coinciding with Andy’s first gene expression profiling experiments and comparative genomics for these organisms. He also spent six months at a US biotech company in California (Genencor), where he worked on the annotation of the privately-funded Aspergillus niger whole-genome sequence.


For his postdoctoral studies he developed his interest in Breast Cancer, working with Prof. Tony Howell at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester. He conducted a range of translational gene expression profiling projects looking at how the known risk factors and preventative interventions for breast cancer actually impart their effects on patients.


In June 2008, Andy returned to Edinburgh to establish the Applied Bioinformatics of Cancer research group as part of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit. He conducts independent research on experimental reproducibility and meta-analysis of high-throughput genomic data as well as assisting with many multidisciplinary collaborative (translational and fundamental) projects within the Unit and beyond, investigating the molecular basis of cancer predisposition, initiation, response to treatment and prognosis. In 2013, Andy was promoted to Senior Research Fellow.

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