Professor Duncan Baird
Chair, School of Medicine
Duncan Baird is a professor of Cancer and Genetics and is the sub-division lead for Genetic and Genome Medicine within the Division of Cancer and Genetics. His research group focuses on telomere biology and is funded by Cancer Research UK, the US NIH, BloodWise, Cancer Research Wales and Health and Care Research Wales
- Member of the Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair.
Lecturer on the ‘Molecular and Cell Biology of Cancer’ module for the Medical Intercalated degree for 3rd and 4th year students from the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
Academic mentor for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate medical students.
My laboratory hosts SSC medical student projects.
Host 3rd year Pharmacology Student Research Projects.
Supervision for five full-time PhD students
Telomeres are structures that cap the ends of chromosomes, they prevent the natural end of a chromosome from being recognised as a double-stranded DNA break. Telomeres shorten with ongoing cell division ultimately obtaining a length at which they become dysfunctional. Dysfunctional telomeres may either trigger replicative senescence or undergo fusion with other chromosome ends or non-telomeric DNA breaks. Fusion can result in the formation dicentric chromosomes and cycles of anaphase bridging, breakage and fusion, which in turn can cause large-scale, potentially oncogenic, genomic rearrangements such as non-reciprocal translocations.
The laboratory has developed high-resolution single molecule approaches to determine telomere length and to detect telomere fusion. They have been using these tools to understand the mechanisms of telomere erosion, mutation and fusion, as well undertaking translational work to examine the role of telomere dysfunction in tumour progression and to test the utility of telomere based prognostic markers in several tumour types.