Simon Andrews

Simon Andrews did his first degree in Microbiology at the University of Warwick.  After a breif period working for Sandoz pharmaceuticals he went on  to do a PhD in protein engineering a the University of Newcastle with Harry Gilbert.  During his PhD his interests moved from bench work toward the emerging field of bioinformatics, and he decided to follow this direction in his future career.

After completing his PhD Simon worked with the BBSRC IT Services where he developed and then presented a series of bioinformatics training courses in protein structure analysis to the BBSRC institutes.  At one of these courses at Babraham he met John Coadwell who establised the Babraham bioinformatics group and was then employed as the second member of the bioinformatics team.  Since joining Babraham Simon has seen the group grow from two people to nine as the field has become far more prominent in the biological research community.  He took over the running of the group in 2010.

Latest Publications

RNA proximity sequencing data and analysis pipeline from a human neuroblastoma nuclear transcriptome.
Wingett SW, Andrews S, Fraser P, Morf J

We have previously developed and described a method for measuring RNA co-locations within cells, called Proximity RNA-seq, which promises insights into RNA expression, processing, storage and translation. Here, we describe transcriptome-wide proximity RNA-seq datasets obtained from human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell nuclei. To aid future users of this method, we also describe and release our analysis pipeline, CloseCall, which maps cDNA to a custom transcript annotation and allocates cDNA-linked barcodes to barcode groups. CloseCall then performs Monte Carlo simulations on the data to identify pairs of transcripts, which are co-barcoded more frequently than expected by chance. Furthermore, derived co-barcoding frequencies for individual transcripts, dubbed valency, serve as proxies for RNA density or connectivity for that given transcript. We outline how this pipeline was applied to these sequencing datasets and openly share the processed data outputs and access to a virtual machine that runs CloseCall. The resulting data specify the spatial organization of RNAs and builds hypotheses for potential regulatory relationships between RNAs.

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Scientific data, 7, 1, 28 Jan 2020

DOI: 10.1038/s41597-020-0372-3

PMID: 31992717

A KHDC3L mutation resulting in recurrent hydatidiform mole causes genome-wide DNA methylation loss in oocytes and persistent imprinting defects post-fertilisation.
Demond H, Anvar Z, Jahromi BN, Sparago A, Verma A, Davari M, Calzari L, Russo S, Jahromi MA, Monk D, Andrews S, Riccio A, Kelsey G

Maternal effect mutations in the components of the subcortical maternal complex (SCMC) of the human oocyte can cause early embryonic failure, gestational abnormalities and recurrent pregnancy loss. Enigmatically, they are also associated with DNA methylation abnormalities at imprinted genes in conceptuses: in the devastating gestational abnormality biparental complete hydatidiform mole (BiCHM) or in multi-locus imprinting disease (MLID). However, the developmental timing, genomic extent and mechanistic basis of these imprinting defects are unknown. The rarity of these disorders and the possibility that methylation defects originate in oocytes have made these questions very challenging to address.

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Genome medicine, 11, 1, 17 12 2019

DOI: 10.1186/s13073-019-0694-y

PMID: 31847873

BNC1 regulates cell heterogeneity in human pluripotent stem cell-derived epicardium.
Gambardella L, McManus SA, Moignard V, Sebukhan D, Delaune A, Andrews S, Bernard WG, Morrison MA, Riley PR, Göttgens B, Gambardella Le Novère N, Sinha S

The murine developing epicardium heterogeneously expresses the transcription factors TCF21 and WT1. Here, we show that this cell heterogeneity is conserved in human epicardium, regulated by BNC1 and associated with cell fate and function. Single cell RNA sequencing of epicardium derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC-epi) revealed that distinct epicardial subpopulations are defined by high levels of expression for the transcription factors BNC1 or TCF21. WT1 cells are included in the BNC1 population, which was confirmed in human foetal hearts. THY1 emerged as a membrane marker of the TCF21 population. We show that THY1 cells can differentiate into cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs), whereas THY1 cells were predominantly restricted to SMCs. Knocking down BNC1 during the establishment of the epicardial populations resulted in a homogeneous, predominantly TCF21 population. Network inference methods using transcriptomic data from the different cell lineages derived from the hPSC-epi delivered a core transcriptional network organised around WT1, TCF21 and BNC1. This study unveils a list of epicardial regulators and is a step towards engineering subpopulations of epicardial cells with selective biological activities.

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Development (Cambridge, England), 146, 24, 13 Dec 2019

DOI: 10.1242/dev.174441

PMID: 31767620

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