Dr Laura Thomas

Dr Laura Thomas

Lecturer, Biomedical Sciences

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792

Welsh language proficiency

Basic Welsh Speaker

Research Links

Academic Office - 428
Fourth Floor
Institute of Life Science 1
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

About

Laura was scientifically trained at the University of Birmingham, UK (undergraduate) and Cardiff University (postgraduate) to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying tumour development in inherited tumour syndromes. Laura completed her postdoctoral studies and HCRW fellowship with Prof Julian Sampson at Cardiff University, School of Medicine. She has now established her own research group at Swansea University Medical School with a focus on intestinal tumour development in the inherited intestinal polyposis syndromes; Familial adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and MUTYH associated polyposis (MAP). 

Areas Of Expertise

  • Genomics
  • Genetics
  • Organoids
  • Inherited Tumour Syndromes
  • Gastrointestinal cancer

Career Highlights

Research

Lauras’ patient focused research integrates experience in genomic technologies with 3D organoid models of intestinal cancer. Her research aims to uncover the genomic causes of early stages of intestinal tumorigenesis in patients with familial polyposis syndromes, identifying biomarkers of cancer risk and determining targets for cancer prevention.

Her current research focus is the molecular landscape of duodenal adenomas. Identifying similarities and differences in pathways to tumorigenesis in the duodenum and colorectum in patients with familial polyposis syndromes (Thomas et al, 2017, Clinical Cancer Research).

In collaboration with academics and gastroenterologists, she co-leads the ‘Collaborative Group on Duodenal Polyposis in MAP’. This international group of experts aims to identify the extent and distribution of duodenal disease from the results of upper GI procedures in a large prospectively collected series of MAP patients. An initial report was published in Gastroenterology (Thomas et al, 2021), demonstrating that patients with MAP appear to develop fewer duodenal polyps at a more advanced age than is reported in FAP. Risk of polyposis also appears to be associated with patient germline genotype and progression to cancer may also occur despite surveillance, with stage IV disease not strongly predicting future cancers in MAP. The consortium are continuing to collect data that may inform the development of a more appropriate surveillance strategy for upper GI disease in MAP.

Award Highlights Collaborations