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Colm S. O'Huigin, Ph.D.

Portait Photo of Colm O'Huigin
Cancer and Inflammation Program
Head, Genetic Core Facility
Staff Scientist (Contr)
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 560, Room 21-28
P.O. Box B
Frederick, MD 21702-1201
Fax Number not listed


Dr. O'Huigin heads the CIP Genetic Core Facility. His training in both quantitative and molecular genetics was at the Genetics Dept. of Trinity College, Dublin. He learnt the techniques of molecular evolutionary analysis as a postdoctoral fellow with Wen-Hsiung Li at the Center for Population and Demographic Genetics in Houston Texas. As an EMBO fellow he worked at the Max-Planck Institute in Tuebingen, Germany with Jan Klein where later he headed a group working on the origins and genetic characteristics of the major histocompatability complex, on organogenesis and on speciation.


A background in both computational and in experimental biology, leads naturally to an interest in research that interfaces both approaches. In the areas of inflammation and cancer unravelling the complex patterns of change and regulation of molecules of adaptive (MHC, KIR) and innate (Trim5, IL28B) immunity have provided both bioinformatic and experimental challenges that are being met using comparative sequence analysis and inference. Research interest is also turning to the selective forces associated with immunity. To what extent are rapidly evolving pathogens (HIV, HCV) shaped to escape host immunity? Given the disparity of mutation rates compared with their host, can pathogens or commensals shape host immunity?

This page was last updated on 6/10/2013.