Dr Ian Sudbery

School of Biosciences

Senior Lecturer

Profile photo of Ian Sudbery
Profile picture of Profile photo of Ian Sudbery
  • 2022 - present: Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics, School of Biosciences, the University of Sheffield
  • 2014 - 2022: Lecturer in Bioinformatics, School of Biosciences, the University of Sheffield
  • 2011 - 2014: CGAT Fellow, MRC Functional Genomics Unit at the University of Oxford
  • 2009 - 2011: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • 2007 - 2008: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
  • 2003 - 2007: PhD in Functional Genomics, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute/University of Cambridge
Research interests

How do cells integrate information to make decisions about what genes should be expressed at a given time and in a given place? How do these processes malfunction to produce disease states? The correct regulation of gene expression is essential for the proper functioning of the cell, and incorrect regulation of genes is central to the mechanisms of many diseases.

My interests rest in understanding how the many levels of eukaryotic gene regulation work together to perform these functions, using computational and functional genomics tools.

The role of microRNAs in regulatory networks

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, single stranded RNAs that act to down regulate the expression of their targets by transcript destabilisation and translational inhibition. What roles to these molecules play in the information processing systems of the cell?

How might these roles differ from that provided by transcriptional inhibitors? We know that miRNAs are found enriched in different topologies of network motifs than transcription factors. What might explain this?

Mathematical modelling suggests that miRNAs might threshold the expression of their target genes, only allowing protein production once transcription exceeds a particular rate. However, thus far experimental tests of this model are lacking in realistic in vivo settings.

We are studying evidence that might speak to the applicability of this model in real biology, and studying the consequences of this behaviour on regulatory networks and the identification of miRNA targets.

Misregulation of chromatin structure in disease

A cell’s DNA does not exist as a single extended string of nucleic acids in the way often imagined, but rather is packed and folded in a myriad of ways to form a complex three dimensional structure. At least some of this structure is thought to be important for the regulation of gene expression.

Transcription of metazoan genes is regulated by sequences known as enhancers which integrate diverse signals to make decisions about expression, and then communicate these decisions through their interactions with promoters. This communication is thought to take place via physical interactions between promoters and enhancers.

Together with collaborators from the Imperial University we are investigating how this three dimensional structure might contribute to the mis-regulation of gene expression in both monogenic disease and cancer using high-throughput, next-generation sequencing based assays of chromatin conformation.


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Journal articles

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Conference proceedings papers

Theses / Dissertations

  • Sudbery I (2010) Methods for genome-scale gene perturbation studies of the TRAILinduced apoptosis pathway in mammalian cell culture.. RIS download Bibtex download


Teaching activities

I teach on MBB165, MBB265, MBB(6)329, MBB(6)344, MBB380, MBB363.