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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Studying at Cambridge


Maire Ni Leathlobhair

Maire Ni Leathlobhair

Genetic Diversity and Evolution of Transmissible Cancers

Supervisor: Dr. Elizabeth Murchison

Departments and Institutes

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute:

Research Interests

My main interest is in the genetics, evolution and immunology of both Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour (CTVT) and Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). These are two of only three known naturally occurring clonally transmissible cancers. Our lab aims to use genomics to investigate the origin, evolution and host interactions associated with contagious cancers. Our team also studies genetic factors influencing host susceptibility, disease pathogenesis and treatment responses.  As well as that, I am very interested in applications of bioinformatics to the analysis of contagious cancers.



  • Genomics
  • Genetics
  • Cancer
  • Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour (CTVT)
  • Devil facial tumour disease
  • Evolutionary biology

Key Publications

Strakova A, Ni Leathlobhair M* et al. Mitochondrial genetic diversity, selection and recombination in a canine transmissible cancer. eLife. (2016) DOI: 10.7554/eLife.14552 

* Joint-first authorship