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Magdalene College Fellows

Dr Adrian Baez-Ortega

Dr Adrian Baez-Ortega is a Nevile Junior Research Fellow in Biological Sciences at Magdalene College.

Adrian is a postdoctoral researcher at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, where he works with group leaders Iñigo Martincorena and Peter Campbell to investigate the biological processes that shape the evolution of cells in healthy and diseased tissues.

Before moving to Cambridge, Adrian obtained first-class honours BSc and MSc degrees in Computer Science at the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain). After research internships in Spain and Cambridge, he joined Elizabeth Murchison’s group at the University of Cambridge as a PhD student in 2015. Adrian’s doctoral work, which investigated the evolution of a contagious parasitic cancer in dogs, has received international distinctions including the 2021 Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists, the 2020 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, and the 2019 Kennel Club Postgraduate Student Inspiration Award.

Adrian’s side interests include literature, history, physics, philosophy, aviation and music. He also enjoys writing scientific dissemination articles and nonscientific essays.

Research Interests

Somatic mutation, evolution, ageing, cancer, statistics.


  • PhD in Biological Sciences (St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge)
  • Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics (The Open University)
  • MSc in Computer Science (Universidad de La Laguna, Spain)
  • BSc in Computer Science (Universidad de La Laguna, Spain)

Selected Publications

(*These authors contributed equally)

Somatic mutation rates scale with lifespan across mammals
A Cagan*, A Baez-Ortega*, N Brzozowska, …, I Martincorena
Nature (2022)
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04618-z

As cancer grows old
A Baez-Ortega
Science 374, 1066 (2021)
DOI: 10.1126/science.abm8137

Somatic evolution and global expansion of an ancient transmissible cancer lineage
A Baez-Ortega, K Gori, A Strakova, …, EP Murchison
Science 365, eaau9923 (2019)
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau9923

Pan-cancer analysis of whole genomes
The ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes Consortium
Nature 578, 82–93, (2020)
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-1969-6

Pan-cancer analysis of whole genomes reveals driver rearrangements promoted by LINE-1 retrotransposition
B Rodriguez-Martin, EG Alvarez*, A Baez-Ortega*, …, JMC Tubio
Nature Genetics 52, 306–319 (2020)
DOI: 10.1038/s41588-019-0562-0

Recurrent horizontal transfer identifies mitochondrial positive selection in a transmissible cancer
A Strakova, TJ Nicholls*, A Baez-Ortega*, …, EP Murchison
Nature Communications 11, 3059 (2020)
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16765-w

sigfit: flexible Bayesian inference of mutational signatures
K Gori, A Baez-Ortega
bioRxiv, 372896 (2018)
DOI: 10.1101/372896

Computational approaches for discovery of mutational signatures in cancer
A Baez-Ortega, K Gori
Briefings in Bioinformatics 20, 77–88 (2017)
DOI: 10.1093/bib/bbx082