Andrea Sottoriva

Andrea Sottoriva is the Head of the Computational Biology Research Centre at Human Technopole.

Andrea’s research focusses on the development of new computational approaches to measure cancer evolution in patients, with the aim of predicting the future course of the disease. Andrea’s lab also integrates patient-derived experimental models and multiomics data, with evolutionary methods to design new treatment strategies that aim at preventing and controlling drug resistance.

After graduating in Computer Science at the University of Bologna in 2006, he obtained a master in Computational Sciences from the University of Amsterdam in 2008. During his studies, he worked in neutrino physics at the Department of Physics of the University of Bologna and at the Institute for Nuclear and High Energy Physics (NIKHEF) in the Netherlands as a research assistant.

In 2012 he completed his PhD in Computational Biology from the University of Cambridge, where he worked at the Cancer Research UK research centre.

After postdoctoral work at the University of Southern California, he started his lab at the Institute of Cancer Research in London in 2013, where in 2018 he became the Deputy Director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer and then the Director in 2020.

He authored several studies published in prestigious scientific journals, including Science, Nature, Nature Genetics and Cancer Discovery. Among his articles are “The co-evolution of the genome and epigenome in colorectal cancer” (Nature, 2022), “Phenotypic plasticity and genetic control in colorectal cancer evolution” (Nature, 2022), “Subclonal reconstruction of tumors by using machine learning and population genetics” (Nature Genetics, 2020), “Detecting repeated cancer evolution from multi-region tumor sequencing data” (Nature Methods, 2018), “Longitudinal liquid biopsy and mathematical modelling of clonal evolution forecast waiting time to treatment failure in a phase II colorectal cancer clinical trial” (Cancer Discovery, 2018), and “Patient-derived organoids model treatment response of metastatic gastrointestinal cancers” (Science, 2018).

In 2016 he was awarded the Cancer Research UK Future Leaders in Cancer Research prize.

Follow on

  • Twitter


  • 10/2022 - Nature

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic control in colorectal cancer evolution

    Genetic and epigenetic variation, together with transcriptional plasticity, contribute to intratumour heterogeneity1. The interplay of these biological processes and their respective contributions to tumour evolution remain unknown. Here we show that intratumour genetic ancestry only infrequently affects gene expression traits and subclonal evolution in colorectal cancer (CRC). Using spatially resolved paired whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing, […]

  • 10/2022 - Nature

    The co-evolution of the genome and epigenome in colorectal cancer

    Colorectal malignancies are a leading cause of cancer-related death1 and have undergone extensive genomic study2,3. However, DNA mutations alone do not fully explain malignant transformation4,5,6,7. Here we investigate the co-evolution of the genome and epigenome of colorectal tumours at single-clone resolution using spatial multi-omic profiling of individual glands. We collected 1,370 samples from 30 primary cancers and […]

  • 09/2020 - Nature Genetics

    Subclonal reconstruction of tumors by using machine learning and population genetics

    Most cancer genomic data are generated from bulk samples composed of mixtures of cancer subpopulations, as well as normal cells. Subclonal reconstruction methods based on machine learning aim to separate those subpopulations in a sample and infer their evolutionary history. However, current approaches are entirely data driven and agnostic to evolutionary theory. We demonstrate that […]

  • 10/2018 - Cancer Discovery

    Longitudinal Liquid Biopsy and Mathematical Modeling of Clonal Evolution Forecast Time to Treatment Failure in the PROSPECT-C Phase II Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trial

    Sequential profiling of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) holds immense promise for early detection of patient progression. However, how to exploit the predictive power of cfDNA as a liquid biopsy in the clinic remains unclear. RAS pathway aberrations can be tracked in cfDNA to monitor resistance to anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. […]

  • 08/2018 - Nature Methods

    Detecting repeated cancer evolution from multi-region tumor sequencing data

    Recurrent successions of genomic changes, both within and between patients, reflect repeated evolutionary processes that are valuable for the anticipation of cancer progression. Multi-region sequencing allows the temporal order of some genomic changes in a tumor to be inferred, but the robust identification of repeated evolution across patients remains a challenge. We developed a machine-learning […]