Bissan Al-Lazikani

Director of Informatics & Technologies
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Professor Bissan Al-Lazikani is formally trained in molecular biology and computer science: BSc (Hons) in molecular biology from University College London, MSc in Computer Science from Imperial College London then PhD in computational structural biology from the University of Cambridge. Subsequently, she became a Howard Hughes postdoctoral fellow at the laboratories of Professor Barry Honig in Columbia University, New York, where she focused on structure analysis, prediction and modelling for the purpose of understanding the basis of ligand-receptor interactions. After that, she joined a London-based Biotechnology company, Inpharmatica, where she led a team to develop Chemogenomics databases and tools to aid target prioritisation and drug discovery. These are now available to the community via a Wellcome strategic award through the ChEMBL resources at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI).

She joined the Institute of Cancer Research, London, in 2009 to establish and lead the Computational Biology and Chemogenomics Team in order to innovate and apply computational techniques to cancer drug discovery, in a long-term collaboration with Professor Paul Workman FRS. She then led the creation of the world’s largest cancer knowledge base, canSAR, as well as the novel, Big Data-driven approaches for objective and systematic evaluation of therapeutic targets for cancer. She also led the creation of Probe Miner, a data-driven Chemical Probe assessment resource. She was appointed head of the Department of Data Science at the ICR. In this role, she led the creation of The Knowledge Hub, a multidisciplinary, AI-enabled environment for clinical research and therapy stratification.

In 2021 she joined MD Anderson Cancer, Houston, TX, where she is Director of Therapeutics Data Science, Professor in the Department of Genomic Medicine and founding faculty of MD Anderson’s Institute of Data Science for Oncology (IDSO).

She is a joint applicant on the Wellcome Biomedical Resource award as well as Director of Informatics and Technologies for the Chemical Probes Portal.