Jonathan Strefford


Primary position:
Reader in Cancer Molecular Genetics


The University of Southampton

Dr Jonathan Strefford is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Cancer Molecular Genetics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. After two years NHS training in clinical cytogenetics, Jon started his postgraduate education with a Ph.D. in Cancer Genetics and Genetic Toxicology at the University of Wales, Swansea. In 2000, he started his postdoctoral careers, working with Professor Bryan Young at the Cancer Research UK Medical Oncology Laboratory at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. In 2002, he received a Lectureship from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, prior to a move to the University of Southampton. In 2008, after four years working with Professor Christine Harrison, Jon was awarded a Personal Fellowship from Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and a Senior Lectureship within the Faculty of Medicine. Jon currently has a research group working on the genetic analysis of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL).

To facilitate these research objectives, Dr Strefford has attracted more than £4.5 million in grant funding from national and international research agencies and charities. He has spoken at international meetings such as the American Society of Hematology and the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr Strefford acts as an editorial board member for a number of international scientific journals, and on a number of national and international scientific committees.

Dr Strefford has extensive experience as a consultant for commercial companies, facilitating the development of FISH and microarray products. He also has strong links with the pharmaceutical industry and acts as a consultant and contract research provider for a series of large international clinical trials.

Dr Strefford’s Linkedin and ResearchGate profiles.

Cancer Genomics Group Facebook Page


BSc., Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth (1994)
PCCC, Association of Clinical Cytogenetics (1996)
Ph.D. Genetic Toxicology, University of Wales Swansea (2000)

Appointments held

Reader and Group Leader, Cancer Sciences Academic Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (2012- to date)
Honorary Clinical Scientist, Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory, Salisbury District Hospital (2006- to date)
Honorary Senior Biomedical Scientist, Department of Pathology, Royal Bournemouth Hospital (2012- to date)

Previous appointments held

Senior Lecturer and Group Leader, Cancer Sciences Academic Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (2008-2012)
Senior Research Fellow, Cancer Sciences Academic Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (2004-2008)

Lecturer in Molecular Oncology, CRUK Department of Medical Oncology, Institute of Cancer, Queen Mary and Westfield College (2002-2004)

Research Fellow, CRUK Medical Oncology Unit, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London (1999-2002)

Dr Jonathan Strefford's photo


Research Interests

Dr Strefford’s research has focused on the identification and characterization of genomic defects in cancer cells.

Genomic abnormalities are the hallmark of human cancer and can aid in appropriate patient management. The presence of these genomic alterations can have utility as Biomarkers by providing guidance on the most appropriate treatment regime and identify those patients likely to develop progressive disease or those that might exhibit limited response to treatment.

The research projects coordinated by Dr Strefford include:

  1. Biomarker Discovery: Using whole genome analysis for copy number changes and sequence mutations to screen clinically-informative leukaemia and lymphoma cohorts.
  2. Biomarker Validation: Using target molecular and NGS technologies to determine the clinical impact of genomic lesions on the patient survival and response to treatment, particularly in the clinical trials context.
  3. Functional Analysis: Using in vitro and in vivo model systems we assess the role of novel genetic lesions in the pathophysiology of B-cell neoplams.


  1. Cragg M, Beers SA, Johnson P, Davies A, Strefford JC (2013) Optimizing antibody treatment for patients with lymphoma. Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Specialist Programme Grant (£1.3Million)
  2. Strefford JC, Steele A, Cragg M, Vorechovsky I (2012) Importance of SF3B1 mutations in the diagnosis, prognosis and biology of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Project Grant (£230K)
  3. Strefford JC (2012) The importance of novel genetic lesions in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Bournemouth Leukaemia Fund PhD Studentship (£100K)
  4. Strefford JC, Davies A (2012) FC Receptor analysis in the ROCHE GOYA Trial. ROCHE Pharmaceuticals Project Grant (£130K)
  5. Strefford JC, Collins A, Oscier DG (2012) The identification and characterization of novel genetic lesions associated with clinical outcome in patients with Splenic Marginal Zone Lymphoma. Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Project Grant (£170K)
  6. Cross NC, Sahota S, Tapper W, Strefford JC (2012) Development and application of a bioinformatic pipeline to identify somatic mutations by exome sequencing. Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Project Grant (£230K)
  7. Strefford JC, Davies A (2012) FC Receptor analysis in the ROCHE Gallium Trial. ROCHE Pharmaceuticals Project Grant (£130K)
  8. Glennie MJ, Williams T, Johnson PJ, Roghanian A, Strefford JC, Beers S, Reading I (2011) Improving the predictive capacity of in vitro cytokine release assays to reduce animal use and drug attrition. NC3R/SRBI - CRACK-IT (£500K)
  9. Strefford JC, Oscier DG, Packham GP (2011) The genetics and functional characterization of novel genetic lesions in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Project Grant (£200K)
  10. Strefford JC, Collins A, Oscier DG, Packham G (2011) The development of next generation sequencing for the analysis of B cell tumours: Understanding disease progression in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Wessex Medical Research PhD studentship (£80K)
  11. Pepper C, Baird D, Oscier DG, Strefford JC (2011) Telomere length as a biomarker of genomic instability and predictor of response to treatment. Cancer Research UK - The Biomarkers and Imaging Discovery and Development Committee (£200K)
  12. Strefford JC, Collins A, Oscier DG (2011) The genetic analysis of patients with progressive CLL using next generation sequencing. Kay Kendell Leukaemia Fund Project Grant (£190K)

Group Members (current)
Dr Jonathan Strefford – Reader and Group Leader
Dr Helen Parker – Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow
(CLL Genomics)
Dr Matthew Rose-Zerilli – Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow
(CLL Genomics)
Dr Marina Parry – Postdoctoral Research Fellow (SMZL Genomics)
Dr Marta Larrayoz – Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Functional analysis of SF3B1)
Dr Chantal Hargreaves – Postdoctoral Research Fellow (FCGR Genetics)
Dr Chisako Iriyama – Visiting Clinician Scientist (Japan)
Mr Anton Parker – Visiting Scientist (Royal Bournemouth Hospital)
Miss Jade Forster – Graduate Student (CLL Genomics)
Mr Stuart Blakemore – Graduate Student (Functional analysis of SF3B1)

Group Members (past)
Mr Miqdad Rajibali – Welcome Trust PhD Student

Mr Lee Brown – Visiting Masters Student (Cranfield University)

Mr Alistair McIntosh – Visiting Undergraduate Project Student (Birmingham University)
Dr Qian An – Postdoctoral Fellow (now at Portsmouth University)

Academic unit:  Cancer Sciences


Postgraduate student supervision

2011 Miqdad Rajabaki, MPhil
2010 Victoria Hammond, PhD
2008 Helen Parker, PhD

2007 Lisa Russell, PhD

2005 Timothy Lane, MD


Jade Forster, PhD (2011-2015)
Stuart Blakemore, PhD (2012-2016)

Faculty of Medicine

Member – Faculty Website Strategy Committee
Member – Faculty IT Strategy Group
Member - Postdoctoral Association Committee

Member - Postdoctoral Mentoring Working Group

Member - Divisional Laboratory Committee

National and International Responsibilities

Editorial Board Member – Cancer Genomics and Proteomics

Editorial Board Member – Journal of Hematology
Editorial Board Member – Journal of Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis

Editorial Board Member – The Open Access Journal of Science
Editorial Board Member – Open Journal of Genomics
Editorial Board Member – Archives of Medical Research

Member – Association of Clinical Cytogenetics

Member – British Society of Human Genetics

Member – British Society of Haematology

Member – American Association for Cancer Research

Member – American Society of Hematology

Member – European Research Initiative on CLL (ERIC)

Co-Chairperson - UK CLL Scientific Workshop
Co-Chairperson – ERIC Novel mutations Project
Executive Member - UK CLL Forum
Member - UK CLL Biobank Research Governence Committee
Member - UK CLL Trials Committee
Member – UK Childhood Leukaemia Research Group

Manuscripts review including - Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, Anticancer Research, Archives of Medical Research, Blood, BioEssays, Bioinformatics, Biotechniques, BMC Gastroenterology, BMC Medical Genomics, BMC Research Notes, British Journal of Cancer, British Journal of Haematology, Cancer Genomics and Proteomics, Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics, Cancer Therapy, Cancer Therapy and Molecular Biology, Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis, Cytogenetics and Genome Research, Genes Chromosome and Cancer, Heamatologica, Hematological Oncology, Human Molecular Genetics, Journal of Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis, Journal of Medical Genetics, Journal of Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Leukemia, Leukemia and Lymphoma, Leukemia Research, Molecular Cytogenetics, Molecular Genetics, Oncogene.

Grant review for - Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Medical Research Council (Project grants and Clinical Research Training Fellowship awards), the Kay Kendell Leukaemia Fund (Project grants and Clinical Research Training Fellowship awards), Cancer Research UK, the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) and CHILDREN with LEUKAEMIA.

Teaching Responsibilities

Faculty of Medicine PhD Programme. Internal examiner, PhD supervisor, project supervisor and marker, lecturer.

Faculty of Medicine Intercalated BMedSci Programme. Project supervisor and marker

University of Southampton Inter-Professional Common Learning. Facilitator.

University of Southampton Bachelor of Medicine BM4. Facilitator.


Dr Jonathan Strefford
Somers Cancer Research Building
Southampton General Hospital
Mailpoint 824
Tremona Road
SO16 6YD

Room Number: SGH//MP824

Telephone: (023) 8120 5246
Facsimile: (023) 8120 5152