Andrea's long-term interest is in understanding the genome diversity and evolution of canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) around the world. CTVT is one of a few known naturally occurring clonally transmissible cancers, and the disease is spread between individual dogs by the allogeneic transfer of living cancer cells during coitus. Even though CTVT originated in a dog that lived around 11,000 years ago, the cancer managed to survive beyond the death of its original host and is now widely present as a parasitic life form in the dog population worldwide.
The CTVT project, which Andrea is involved in, is aiming to understand how CTVT has emerged and spread through the population, through mapping the genetic and phenotypic diversity of CTVT tumours from different parts of the world.
Before starting her PhD work in the Transmissible Cancer Group, Andrea completed an undergraduate degree in Veterinary Science at the University of Cambridge. Her final year project focused on mapping the worldwide distribution and prevalence of CTVT, and she is still interested in reports of CTVT from around the world.