Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Marketa Tomkova

Leadership Fellow

After training in Computer Science (at Charles University in Prague), I became interested in interdisciplinary research where I can apply my computational background to important questions in biology and medicine. During my DPhil (at University of Oxford), I developed my interest in mutagenesis, epigenomics, and cancer research. We showed that:

  • 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is protective against mutations (in contrast with the pro-mutagenicity of the major DNA modification 5-methylcytosine),
  • DNA replication leaves a detectable footprint in most mutational processes, 
  • the widely accepted explanation of mutational signature 1, one of the two most widespread mutational patterns, is contradicted by observations in sequencing data of cancer patients, implicating involvement of an independent replication-linked mechanism.

In my postdoctoral research (at University of California Davis), I studied mutations in the non-coding genome – and how they contribute to cancer and other diseases. We also used epigenome editing to dissect the fascinating mechanisms of how different epigenetic marks in the non-coding genome regulate gene expression.

Throughout my past research, I have worked on many international collaborative projects with clinicians, experimental scientists, and computer scientists. For example, in a collaboration with researchers from Google Brain and Charles University in Prague, we were the first to show a human-level deep-learning AI for language translation.

In summer 2023, I have started my group at the Oxford branch of Ludwig Cancer Research to study the mechanisms of how mutagenesis and epigenomics together and independently cause cancer.