Following post-doctoral roles at the School of Veterinary Medicine (Nottingham) and the Medical Research Council, Dan worked as a Senior Scientist for the Health Protection Agency and as Senior Executive Officer at Public Health England. During this period, he sat on the agency-wide Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) committee across PHE (now the UK Health and Security Agency). Dan joined Keele in 2015 and manages and/or teaches on a range of UG and PG modules including Clinical Pathology, Clinical Applications of Biomedical Sciences, Advances in Medicine and Research Methodologies. Dan undertakes research in the broad area of molecular sequencing and bioinformatics (now almost exclusively computer-based, he still owns a lab coat) with a focus on increasing our understanding of human health and disease.

Outside of his research and teaching roles, Dan serves as the Director of Postgraduate Research, and is the Human Tissue Authority 'Designated Individual' for the HTA research-sector licence held at Keele University.

Research and scholarship

I am a Bioinformatician/Molecular Biologist with recognised expertise in novel method development, currently providing bioinformatic leadership and acting as principal bioinformatician on a number of active research studies, including: the ASCOT clinical trial (which has included two externally funded PhD students), a BBSRC Engineering Biology Transition Award and BBSRC Response Mode Grant (Galizi PI and Tonge CO-I), a BBSRC Response Mode Grant studying the Valorisation of Brown Algal Biomass (Torode PI and Tonge CO—I) and an EPSRC award (award to PI Dr Tom Torode). I have been invited to contribute to numerous grant applications and consortia, both nationally and internationally. I have a range of international collaborations including in China and South Africa (Prof S Hemmings) and have been awarded a Royal Society Travel Grant to establish new research opportunities between Keele and Stellenbosch University.  

Example studies/techniques:

Characterisation of extracellular vesical miRNA cargo by small RNA sequencing

Identification of biomarkers of successful autologous cell transplant by mRNA-seq and miRNA-seq

De novo transcriptome assembly of various species (plant and animal)

Single-cell RNA-sequencing approaches

Development of novel wet-lab and bioinformatic approaches

Microbiome characterisation by amplicon sequencing, meta-genomics and meta-transcriptomics

Use/development of methods leveraging taxonomic classification (microorganisms / disease vectors)

Illumina, Pac Bio, Nanopore, Ion Torrent, and even SOLiD!

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.

PhD Supervision – please contact me:

I supervise PhD students in any of the above areas. I am particularly interested to hear from students with a wet laboratory background who are interested in developing bioinformatics skills. We hold a significant volume of data generated from the whole genome-scale lentiviral study (see Tonge et al 2022), and this would lend itself to a number of bioinformatics-focused PhD opportunities (with the potential for distance study). Self-funded PhD opportunities are considered year-round – please contact me at


School of Life Sciences,
Huxley Building,
Keele University,
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734414