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Shamith Samarajiwa
BSc Biomed.(Hons) PhD MBCS
Group Leader

Shamith trained in computing and software engineering, worked in industry and completed undergraduate training at the University of Melbourne and Monash University. He obtained a honours degree with a first-class in Biomedicine, working with Prof. Rod Devenish on the structural biology of ATP synthase. He then completed a Ph.D. in Molecular Immunology & Computational Genomics working on innate immunity, inflammation and the interferon system with Prof. Paul Hertzog at the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. He utilised molecular and biochemical techniques involving viral and inflammatory in vivo disease models, transgenic & knock-out mice, together with bioinformatics and computational genomics to understand in vivo regulation of interferon and TLR signaling pathways, receptors and innate immune responses.

He was the Foundation Bioinformatics Fellow at the MIMR (2006-2008), where he established the first bioinformatics research group at the institute and developed novel data-integration technologies for deciphering immunity and inflammation associated systems. He also worked as a bioinformatician for the Cooperative Research Centre for Chronic Inflammatory Diseases, a consortium of seven Australian Universities and AstraZeneca. More recently he was a Computational Biology Research Associate in Prof.Simon Tavaré's Statistics and Computational Biology group at the University of Cambridge, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (2008-2014), working on genome-scale Data-Integration and visualization, regulatory genomics and cancer systems biology.


In 2015 he moved to the MRC Cancer Unit in Cambridge to establish a research group with the aim of applying Computational Biology, Data Science (including Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning) and Complex Systems methods to jointly understand fundamental rules underlying gene, genome and epigenome regulation in immunity, inflammation and cancer. 


Shamith is on the editorial board of the new Elsevier journal Immunoinformatics. He is also a Cambridge University Data Champion, and is involved in the Cambridge Centre for Data-Driven Discovery, Cambridge Network of Networks, Cambridge Immunology and the cancer early detection program of the CRUK Cambridge Centre.