I joined Queen Mary as a Research Fellow in 2006 and I have collaborated with several research groups using bioinformatic pathway and network analysis of experimental data and karyoptypic analysis of human cell lines and primary tumours. My current research is focused on paediatric low grade gliomas using a multi-omics approach to define the crucial mechanisms downstream of aberrant MAPK signalling that regulate the different phenotypes observed in these tumours.
I am currently investigating the molecular genetics and epigenetic drivers of paediatric low grade gliomas. I am comparing pilocytic astrocytomas that contain a KIAA1549-BRAF gene fusion as the sole genetic aberration together with glioneuronal tumours that contain the BRAFV600E mutation. Both aberrations activate the MAPK pathway, but the mechanistic relationship between these upstream events and downstream signalling in pLGG is not fully understood. In order to determine the differential effects these aberrations have on downstream signalling I am using a multi-omics approach combining transcriptomics data with proteomic data to explore the relationship between gene expression and translation into proteins and their inferred activity in these tumours. This includes RNA sequencing, LncRNA arrays and Kinase-Substrate Enrichment Analysis (KSEA) analysis of phospho-proteomic data. Results will be integrated with larger tumour cohorts and validated in isogenic models currently being developed in our laboratory.
Aarum J, Cabrera CP, Jones TA, Rajendran S, Adiutori R, Giovannoni G, et al. Enzymatic degradation of RNA causes widespread protein aggregation in cell and tissue lysates. EMBO Rep 2020: 21:e49585.
Jeyapalan JN, Doctor GT, Jones TA, Alberman SN, Tep A, Haria CM, et al. DNA methylation analysis of paediatric low-grade astrocytomas identifies a tumour-specific hypomethylation signature in pilocytic astrocytomas. Acta Neuropathol Commun 2016, 4(1): 54
Jones TA, Jeyapalan JN, Forshew T, Tatevossian RG, Lawson AR, Patel SN, et al. Molecular analysis of pediatric brain tumors identifies microRNAs in pilocytic astrocytomas that target the MAPK and NF-kappaB pathways. Acta Neuropathol Commun 2015, 3: 86
Lawson AR, Hindley GF, Forshew T, Tatevossian RG, Jamie GA, Kelly GP, Neale GA, Ma J, Jones TA, Ellison DW, Sheer D: RAF gene fusion breakpoints in pediatric brain tumors are characterized by significant enrichment of sequence microhomology. Genome Res 2011, 21:505-514.
Forshew T, Tatevossian RG, Lawson AR, Ma J, Neale G, Ogunkolade BW, Jones TA, Aarum J, Dalton J, Bailey S, et al: Activation of the ERK/MAPK pathway: a signature genetic defect in posterior fossa pilocytic astrocytomas. J Pathol 2009, 218:172-181.