Dr Mike Starkey

Head of Molecular Oncology

The primary aim of Mike’s research is to identify biomarkers of tumours and tumour behaviour.

Through identifying biomarkers for tumours and tumour behaviour, Mike aims to  develop diagnostic assays that will identify cancer or tumour metastasis before clinical signs are visible, as well as more accurate tests that will predict how tumours will behave, or respond to treatment. A second aim of Mike’s research is to identify inherited germ-line mutations that cause some pedigree dog breeds to have an increased risk of developing a specific type of cancer.

The underlying goal is to identify novel molecular defects involved in tumour development and progression, which may be targets for the development of new therapies.


BSc, PhD, MSc(CCI)(Open)


Mike has a degree in Genetics from the University of Liverpool and obtained a PhD from the University of Nottingham. Mike went on to complete a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Hertfordshire. He spent 13 years as Group Leader at the Medical Research Council Rosalind Franklin Centre for Genomics Research in Cambridge where he led many projects including leading research on Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2004 Mike obtained an MSc in Computer Science from the Open University. In the same year he joined the Animal Health Trust where he heads the Molecular Oncology Group. Mike is a member of the Eurogroup for Animals Advisory Board on Companion Animals.