Following graduation from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc.(Hon) in Biological Sciences, Andy worked as a Research Assistant at the British Antarctic Survey laboratories in Cambridge, characterizing the biodiversity of soil samples. He then worked as a Clinical Scientist at the Public Health Laboratories at Addenbrooke’s Hospital (Cambridge), developing real-time quantitative methods for routine viral diagnostics.
Andy then moved to Prof. Steve Oliver’s lab at the University of Manchester to study for his PhD, performing some of the first microarray experiments and comparative genomics analysis at an exciting time when whole-genome sequences of several species of filamentous fungi were completed. Six months of his studies were spent at a US biotech company in California (Genencor) studying the secretory pathway and identifying novel proteases.
Dr Sims continued his focus on gene expression profiling whilst developing his interest in Breast Cancer during subsequent postdoctoral research with Prof. Tony Howell at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research at the Christie Hospital in Manchester. He conducted a range of translational gene expression profiling projects looking at how known risk factors and preventative interventions for breast cancer actually impart their effects on patients.
In June 2008, Andy relocated to the University of Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre to establish his own research group and provide bioinformatics input to ongoing collaborative multidisciplinary projects. His research interests cover a broad spectrum, but could be summed up simply as ‘trying to make sense of lots of data, to improve our understanding of cancer’. In 2013, Andy was promoted to a tenured Senior Research Fellow.