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James D. Brenton is a medical oncologist and senior group leader at the Cancer Research UK (CR-UK) Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge. He leads the Functional Genomics of Ovarian Cancer Laboratory and is joint lead for the CR-UK Cambridge Cancer Ovarian Cancer programme. He trained in medical oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto and the Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge. His PhD work was carried out at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology and he was a Cancer Research UK Senior Clinical Research Fellow from 2001–2006 at the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre. He was elected as a Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences in 2015.

His research focuses on the identification of predictive genomic biomarkers for therapy in ovarian cancer and identifying mechanisms of drug resistance. His group was the first to show that mutations in the TP53 gene are ubiquitous in the commonest form of ovarian cancer and he has used this discovery to develop personalized circulating tumour DNA assays to measure treatment response in ovarian cancer and to understand intratumoural heterogeneity in ovarian cancer.

He is a founding member of the international Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis (OTTA) Consortium and is a member of the SGCTG Protocol Review Committee and the CR-UK Clinical Fellows Mentor Panel. He is the Cancer lead for the East of England NHS Genomic Medicine Centre and the ovarian cancer domain for the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership.