Currently two official directors; however, we interact with a web of trusted professionals who can assist in driving your projects forward through sub-contraction. Darren's contacts are primarily UK- and US-based, whereas Kevin's extend globally.
Darren is THE people's person and motivator, whereas Kevin likes to hide away in the middle of nowhere every now and then and get down to business.
Kevin Blighe, B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D.
Kevin is a data analyst, bioinformatician, and computational biologist with international research experience, having developed professional relationships across North and South America and Europe. He has published and worked in diverse research areas such as genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, clustering analysis, CRISPR gene editing, circulating free DNA (cfDNA), bacterial transcriptome assembly, and electronic health records, and has covered numerous disease areas such as breast, endometrial, and lung cancer, haemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, corneal disease, and pre-eclampsia. He has also worked in clinical genetics in the National Health Service in the UK, where he was Lead Bioinformatician and LIMS Developer, and as an analyst at Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, Italy.
He is passionate about making a difference in healthcare by focusing on disease prevention and making healthcare a right for all by improving diagnostic and monitoring procedures, thus helping to drive cost down.
Kevin did post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Queen Mary University of London, and Imperial College London.
Career highlights for Kevin include:
- Highlighting 'dormancy' in breast cancer and deriving panels of blood-based biomarkers
- Leading the implementation of a clinical NGS pipeline in the NHS England that has 100% agreement with Sanger sequencing
- Defining a genetic signature of resistance to severe haemophilia A therapy
- Implementing automated clinical report generation and transmission in LIMS in the NHS England
- Demonstrating the impact of transcription-associated DNA damage on genomic stability in B-cell lymphoma
- Defining histopathotype gene expression signatures in early rheumatoid arthritis
- Identifying molecular predictors of response to Rituximab in B-cell rich and poor populations
- Highlighting a mechanism through which vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women may reduce risk of asthma in their child.
Darren Grafham, B.Sc. (Hons.), M.B.A.
In 1995, Darren graduated from Warwick University with a 2:1 class B.Sc. (Hons.) in Biochemistry and continued his studies at Ashcroft International Business School where he obtained his M.B.A. in 2003.
Darren worked for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute for 17 years and has 20 years genomics experience, overall, with involvement in the Human Genome Project and other large eukaryotic sequencing programmes. Darren has experience in managing large diverse groups of teams both internally and as part of international consortia.
Darren was appointed as Head of Laboratory Services at Sheffield Diagnostic and Genetic Services in 2013. He is responsible for providing management and direction for the integrated cytogentic and molecular genetic laboratory in all aspects of research and development (R & D), next generation sequencing (NGS), diagnostic testing, space, equipment, IT, administration, finance, and infrastructure.
He has most recently successfully implemented NGS in the clinical environment.