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Tom Milne

Tom Milne

Thomas Milne


Professor of Haematology

Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression in Leukaemia and Haematopoiesis

Brief biography and current research interests

Tom Milne received a PhD in 2005 that was co-supervised by Dr. Hugh Brock (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) and Dr. Jay Hess (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA) working on the wild type function of the Mixed Lineage Leukaemia (MLL) protein. Tom went on to do postdoctoral studies at The Rockefeller University (NY, USA) in the lab of Dr. C. David Allis where he worked on additional roles for the MLL protein complex in the regulation of gene targets in normal cells as well as in leukaemia. He became a Group Leader in 2010 at the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit (MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford) and then an Associate Professor of Haematology in 2014. 

Chromatin proteins have become key therapeutic targets in cancer treatment but it is still not fully understood exactly how these proteins function. The Milne lab aims to better understand how chromatin proteins contribute to gene regulation in normal haematopoietic cells and in disease, and in particular how these proteins influence gene expression through differential enhancer activity. We have a specific focus on high risk paediatric leukaemias, particularly those caused by rearrangements of the Mixed Lineage Leukaemia (MLL) gene. The overall goal is to use key mechanistic insights from this work to design novel combination therapies in pre-clinical models of disease, or to better understand the function of drugs that are already undergoing clinical trials.