Kevin Hiom

+44 (0)1382 383360
Head of Division - Cellular Medicine & Pat McPherson Professor of Cancer Biology



Professor Kevin Hiom is the Pat McPherson Chair in Cancer Biology. Kevin did his undergraduate degree at the University of Liverpool and undertook his PhD at the MRC National institute for Medical Research where he studies the responses of bacterial cells to DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light. In 1991 Kevin moved to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Clare Hall Lab’s to work with Dr Stephen West FRS on the biochemistry of genetic recombination and then in 1995 moved to the National Institutes of health, Bethesda Maryland USA to work on V(D)J recombination with Dr Martin Gellert. In 1998 Keven started his own group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, working on the role of DNA repair in preventing human disease,. In 2009 Kevin relocated to the School of Medicine at the University of Dundee where he is now the Head of the Division of Cellular Medicine. During his career Kevin has been awarded a number of prizes including the NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (1998), Pfizer Academic Award for work on the mechanism of V(D)J recombination(1999), Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Discovery Award (2005) for the identification of the FANCJ gene and the European Association for Cancer Research Cancer Researcher Award Lecture (2009).


Kevin Hiom’s group researches the mechanisms by which cells deal with damage to their genetic material DNA and how, when this goes wrong, it can lead to human disease. In particular Kevin’s group have an interest in the repair of DNA breaks. During his post-doctoral career Kevin showed how DNA breaks generated during the development of the immune system could result in the formation of cancer causing translocations in which DNA from two different chromosomes become fused. Since 1998 Kevin’s research has focused on the function of the important cancer causing gene BRCA1 which is defective in patients with a predisposition to early onset breast and ovarian cancer. His lab also identified a protein, related to BRCA1, was the cause of the human inherited blood disease Fanconi anaemia. In recent times the Hiom lab is focused on the role of RNA metabolism in the repair of DNA damage and how defects in this process lead to cancers in children and also to neurodegenerative diseases.


Professor Hiom is an active participant in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. He contributes lectures to module BS42007 (Cancer Biology), module BS42027 (Cancer Pharmacology and treatment) and BS32029 (Cell proliferation and survival mechanisms underlying disease) in Biological /Biomedical sciences. He also lectures on DNA repair in the BMSc module in Cancer and several lectures for the MRes Cancer Biology taught post-graduate masters course. His specialist teaching is in the mechanisms of genome stability and its role in disease.


DHX9 Helicase promotes R-loop formation in cells with impaired RNA splicing
9/2018, Nature Communications
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

BRCA1 is required for maintenance of phospho-Chk1 and G2/M arrest during DNA cross-link repair in DT40 cells
8/2015, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

BRCA1 is a histone-H2A-specific ubiquitin ligase
8/2014, Cell Reports
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Homologous Recombination : How RecA Finds the Perfect Partner
4/2012, Current Biology
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Editorial

FancJ/Brip1 helicase protects against genomic losses and gains in vertebrate cells
6/2011, Genes to Cells
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Coping with DNA double strand breaks
12/2010, DNA Repair
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Review article

Ubiquitin-specific proteases 7 and 11 modulate Polycomb regulation of the INK4a tumour suppressor
8/2010, EMBO Journal
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

FANCJ : solving problems in DNA replication
3/2010, DNA Repair
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

DNA Repair : Common Approaches to Fixing Double-Strand Breaks
7/2009, Current Biology
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Editorial

Understanding the functions of BRCA1 in the DNA-damage response
6/2009, Biochemical Society Transactions
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Review article

View full profile on research portal