Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

Dr Robert Lowe


Lecturer in Computational Biology

Centre: Centre for Genomics and Child Health

Telephone: 0207 882 8886


Dr Rob Lowe studied his PhD (2008-2011), where he used machine learning tools to predict the potential for phospholipidosis for various drug molecules. From 2011-2015 he joined the Rakyan lab at the Blizard Institute, QMUL where he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant applying bioinformatics techniques to a number of epigenetic datasets.


Dr Rob Lowe's lab is interested in the application of both computational modeling and pattern recognition to understand biological function. The Lab has a specific focus on epigenetics and in particular DNA methylation. We aim to work closely and collaborate with a number of wet lab biologists in order to build appropriate models and test our predictions. Additionally we have begun to develop our own wet-lab experience using the ciliate Tetrahymena Thermophila, a unique model system.


Research Interests:

DNA Methylation Dynamics during Senescence – A computational approach to understand the dynamics of DNA methylation during the process of senescence. We aim to build computational models that will further our understanding of the functional mechanisms during senescence.

Integration of multiple epigenetic datasets – Using the process of differentiation of a cell from a pluripotent state to a unipotent state, the aim of the project is to be able to integrate multiple epigenetic datasets from RNA-Seq, DNA methylation to proteomics in a unified framework.

Epigenetic Varation in Tetrahymena thermophilaUsing the model organism, Tetrahymena thermophila, to begin to understand the complexity of epeigenetic responses during growth


Research Group Members

Dr Francisco Rodriquez Algarra, Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Ama Brew, Research Technician

Examples of research funding:

Wellcome Trust Seed Award



Lowe R, Barton C, Jenkins CA, Ernst C, Forman O, Fernandez-Twinn DS, Bock C, Rossiter SJ, Faulkes CG, Ozanne SE, Walter L, Odom DT, Mellersh C, Rakyan VK. Ageing-associated DNA methylation dynamics are a molecular readout of lifespan variation among mammalian species. Genome Biol. 2018 Feb 16;19(1):22

Holland M.L.*,Lowe R.*, Caton P.W., Gemma C., Carbajosa G., Danson A.F., Carpenter A.A., Loche E., Ozanne S.E. and Rakyan V.K. Early-life nutrition modulates the epigenetic state of specific rDNA genetic variants in mice. Science 2016 353(6298):495-8  

Lowe R., Beach D., Rakyan V.K. and Bishop C. (2015) The Senescent Methylome and its relationship with cancer, ageing and germline genetic variation in humans. Genome Biology vol. 16, (1) 

Lowe R., Slodkowicz G., Goldman N. and Rakyan V.K. (2015) The human blood DNA methylome displays a highly distinctive profile compared with other somatic tissues.Epigenetics vol. 10, (4) 274-281.

Lowe R. and Rakyan V. (2013) Marmal-aid - a database for Infinium HumanMethylation450 BMC Bioinformatics 2013,14:359

Lowe R., Gemma C., Beyan H., Hawa M.I., Bazeos A., Leslie R.D., Montpetit A., Rakyan V.K. and Ramagopalan S.V. (2013) Buccals are likely to be a more informative surrogate tissue than blood for epigenome-wide association studies. Epigenetics 8 (4) 445 - 454


View all Robert Lowe's Research Publications at:


Johan Van Greune, MSc Student

Jack Haverty, MSc Student