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Mirjana Efremova

Group Leader

Mirjana did her PhD in Computational Biology in the lab of Prof Trajanoski at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, where she investigated the process of clonal evolution of cancer under immunosurveillance. For her postdoctoral research, she joined the Teichmann Lab (Wellcome Sanger Institute) where she co-led the development of the first human atlas of the maternal-fetal interface in early pregnancy using single cell transcriptomics. She also developed a cell-cell communication statistical framework CellPhoneDB ( which allowed her to dissect the complex interplay between stromal and immune cells in the dynamic tumour microenvironment of a mouse melanoma model. She started her own lab in May 2020, at Barts Cancer Institute, within the Centre for Cancer Genomics and Computational Biology.


Sam Ogden


Sam did his PhD at the University of Manchester on the Wellcome Trust Molecular and Cell Biology Programme. He worked in Prof Andrew Sharrocks’ group researching HER2 signalling and resistance to HER2 inhibitors in oesophageal adenocarcinoma, focussing on the gene regulatory changes that drive resistance. In April 2021, he joined the group, researching metastasis in colorectal cancer.  


Özen Leylek


Özen did her PhD at the Koc University in Turkey where she worked on identifying novel combination therapies for gastric cancer. She was also a visiting graduate student in Prof. Lee’s lab at UMass Medical School and Prof. Hemann's lab at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, funded through a Fulbright PhD Dissertation Research Grant. She joined the group in January 2024 and is working on investigating the mechanisms driving therapy resistance in B cell lymphomas.


Nasrine Metic

PhD student

Prior to joining the group as a PhD student in July 2021, Nasrine completed a BSc. in Life Sciences and obtained a MSc. in Bioengineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Nasrine’s research interest lie at the intersection of machine learning and cancer. She is broadly interested in combining these fields to help cancer research in a clinically relevant way. At the BCI, she is focusing on the integration of single-cell multi-omics and spatial imaging-based data from patient samples to investigate the mechanisms underlying cancer cell plasticity in metastasis.


Elise Smith

PhD student

Elise joined the Efremova lab as a PhD student in September 2022. Her PhD is focussed on investigating the effect of chemotherapy in colorectal cancer using single-cell data. Before joining the BCI, Elise completed a BSc in Natural Sciences at the University of Bath, including an industrial placement year at GSK developing imaging-based cancer drug screening assays. She also completed an MRes at QMUL as part of the MRC Translational Biosciences DTP.


Sorted by joining year



  • Kiyana Godazandeh, Master student 

  • Megan Perret, PhD student

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