Ross Chapman started his career in research in 2002, working as a Research Assistant at the MRC Genome Damage and Stability Centre (University of Sussex, UK). In 2006, he went on to join Prof. Steve Jackson’s laboratory (Gurdon Institute, Cambridge), where his PhD research focused on the regulated assembly of DNA repair and signalling complexes at sites of DNA breaks. As a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow, Ross continued for a short postdoc in the Jackson laboratory, before leaving in 2010 to join Prof. Simon Boulton’s laboratory at Cancer Research UK Clare Hall Laboratories (London), now part of the present-day Francis Crick Institute. There he studied the regulated interplay between the non-homologous end joining and homologous recombination DNA repair pathways, and their role in immune system development, carcinogenesis and cancer’s response to therapy. Establishing his group in 2013 at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford), he was elected to Associate Professor in 2017. In 2020 his laboratory moved to join the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit (Oxford), where Ross holds Cancer Research UK and Lister Institute Fellowships. He is also a current member of the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.
The Chapman group’s major research is on genetic recombination mechanisms, and in particular, the role of the major DNA double strand break repair pathways. His group is particularly interested in how cells and different tissues strike an appropriate equilibrium between accurate and mutagenic DNA repair mechanisms, as a means to understand why faults in this regulation lead to cancer and immune-deficiency disorders. An end goal will be to devise innovative strategies to exploit these faults in cancer therapies.