Dr Daniel Tonge is a lecturer at Keele University with experience in academia and within government agencies. Following post-doctoral roles at the School of Veterinary Medicine (Notts) and the MRC, he worked as a Senior Scientist for the Health Protection Agency and as Senior Executive Officer at Public Health England. Dan joined Keele in 2015, and in addition to his teaching and regulatory roles, carries out molecular/bioinformatic projects that require novel thinking and method development to increase our understanding of human disease and disease processes. Dan's recent work has developed and evaluated alternative molecular approaches for the characterisation of a range of microbiomes, investigated the existence of novel microbiome niches, and characterised the complex relationship between host and microbiome in various pathologies.
Dan is engaged in various collaborative projects as a bioinformatician including
- characterisation of the lncRNA, MIAT1, in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma (Dr Maarabouni)
- identification of nucleic biomarkers of successful autologous cell transplant in the ASCOT clinical trial (Dr Karina Wright and Prof Sally Roberts)
- sequencing and de novo assembly of the first Horse Chestnut transcriptome (Dr Shrive and Prof Greenhough, and
- elucidating the ncRNA cargo of extracellular vesicles (Dr Chen). Dan is about to embark upon a new study funded by the Engineering biology research, community and capacity development scheme (Keele lead Dr Roberto Galizi) as part of a research collaboration with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
A key and sustained research collaboration has been the development of a whole genome-scale lentiviral system and companion sequencing and bioinformatics approach to identify novel sequences associated with cell survival with the Williams’ (Keele) and Farzaneh (Prof Farzaneh, Kings) groups. See Tonge et al 2022.
Research and scholarship
Dr Tonge's current research involves the application (and development) of next generation sequencing and bioinformatic techniques to the areas of personalised medicine (key disease pathway analysis and novel biomarker discovery) and microbial metagenomics.
Current projects include;
- An analysis of the circulating miRNA profile of severe, poorly controlled asthmatic patients
- The role of obesity in the pathogenesis of hip osteoarthritis – elucidation of key nucleic acid signatures
- An analysis of circulating microbial nucleic acids in hip osteoarthritis patients
- Metagenomic analyses of the rhizosphere microbiome and its impact on VOC detoxification (PhD Studentship)
Although I work in all disease areas, I have a particular interest in the pathogenesis of Osteoarthritis and the potential for the development of personalised / precision therapeutics.