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Professor Timothy Chevassut

Dr Tim Chevassut

Professor Timothy Chevassut (BMBCh MA, MPH, PhD)

Chair of Haematology
T: +44 (0)1273 873232
Location: Medical Research Building, BSMS, University of Sussex, BN1 9PS

Other roles: Honorary Consultant; Director of Clinical Academic Training at BSMS; Director of Cancer Translation Advisory Group (CTAG); Lead for Haematology Clinical Trial Portfolio (CIRU); Clinical Lead for The Haematology Research Group

Areas of expertise: Clinical haematology; acute myeloid leukaemia; myelodysplastic syndromes; stem cells; DNA methylation; epigenetics; targeted therapies; cancer trials


Professor Timothy Chevassut is both a clinical haematologist and basic scientist.  He studied medicine and molecular biology at Oxford and gained his MRCP at Bristol before spending a research fellowship at Harvard where he conducted work on embryonic stem cells and DNA methylation. He subsequently completed a PhD at Edinburgh working on RNA interference before returning to medicine and completing specialist training in clinical haematology culminating in the FRCPath. In 2007 he joined Brighton and Sussex Medical School where he is currently Reader in Haematology and also honorary consultant at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. 

Professor Chevassut's clinical area of interest is blood cancers with a particular focus on acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). These are related diseases of the blood for which we now have a remarkable understanding of the genetic mutations and molecular biology. However, despite this understanding, the treatment options for patients diagnosed with AML and MDS remain very limited, particularly older patients where stem cell transplantation is usually not possible. 

Professor Chevassut’s recent work has focused on one particular gene mutation, namely the DNA methyltransferase gene DNMT3A, that occurs in around 25% of patients with AML. His laboratory has shown that mutations in DNMT3A often initiate leukaemia and can be detected rapidly using PCR to improve diagnosis and prognosis. More importantly, they have shown that leukaemias carrying DNMT3A mutations can be effectively targeted using novel strategies that disrupt the epigenetic machinery of the cell’s genome including histone modfications and DNA methylation. 

Professor Chevassut also works closely with colleagues at BSMS and the University of Sussex on other types of blood cancer, notably chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and multiple myeloma, and has established a tissue bank of bone marrow samples. He has acted as Principal Investigator for a number of early phase clinical studies and is a key member of the NCRI MDS Trial Subgroup. The overarching goal of his translational research programme is to develop better treatments for patients through improved understanding of disease biology and to bring these to the clinic over the next few years. He welcomes expressions of interest for working at BSMS or collaboration with his research group. 


  • BMBCh MA – Oxford University, 1993

  • MPH – Harvard University, 1998

  • PhD – Edinburgh University, 2006


  • Royal College of Pathologists (2010)

  • Royal College of Physicians (2011)


  • British Society of Haematology

  • NCRI Myelodysplasia Subgroup


Timothy conducts a successful translational research programme in AML and MDS that aims to better understand the biology of these conditions through basic science with a view to improving treatments for patients through clinical trials. The basic laboratory research is conducted at the BSMS Medical Research Building at the University of Sussex and focuses on the molecular mechanisms of leukaemogenesis. Dr Helen Stewart is the Senior Research Fellow overseeing the research with key collaborators in London, Oxford, Edinburgh and the United States. There are three main research themes: firstly, to understand how mutations of the DNA methyltransferase gene DNMT3A commonly lead to AML; secondly, to study how histone abnormalities lead to expansion of leukaemic stem cells; and thirdly to explore novel epigenetic therapies in AML including hypomethlyating agents and bromodomain inhibitors.

Timothy has also established the Brighton Bone Marrow Tissue Bank containing samples from patients with AML, MDS and other forms of blood cancer that serves as an invaluable research resource. In collaboration with other investigators at the University of Sussex, notably the Genome Centre and the Drug Discovery Centre, the Tissue Bank will facilitate the development of diagnostic assays for disease profiling and drug testing.

Finally, Timothy has established a highly regarded early phase clinical trial unit at CIRU (Clinical Investigation Research Unit), based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. He is principal investigator for four studies in MDS and AML, including two for which he is the UK Chief Investigator, that aim to improve treatment options for patients using a variety of targeted therapies such as monoclonal antibodies, antisense molecules and DNA hypomethylation. The ambitious goal of the programme is to bring to the clinic a new and effective treatment in MDS/AML, discovered and developed at BSMS and the University of Sussex, over the next ten years.


In recent years, BSMS has consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the UK for the quality of its teaching.  It has a vibrant and dynamic environment that encourages and motivates students to learn about human physiology, disease and clinical medicine. Timothy is the lead teacher on Blood Physiology course in year 1 (Heart, Lungs and Blood, Module 103), Cancer Biology course in year 3 (Scientific Basis of Medicine, Module 302) and Clinical Haematology in year 4 (Specialist Rotations, Module 402).  Timothy has twice been the runner-up best teacher on the BMBS course and recently received a University of Sussex Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Timothy is also the Director of Clinical Academic Training for BSMS, working closely with colleagues at Health Education England South East (HEESE) and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust to oversee the management of the highly successful Brighton Integrated Academic Training (IAT) Programme that comprises Academic Foundation Trainees and NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows and Lecturers. He has initiated the MRes research programme at BSMS and supervised numerous students undertaking BSc, Masters, and PhD degrees as well as mentoring IRP students and haematology AFP, ACF and SpR trainees.

Selected publications

Latif AL, Newcombe A, Li S, Gilroy K, Robertson NA, et al.BRD4-mediated repression of p53 is a target for combination therapy in AML.Nat Commun. 2021 Jan 11;12(1):241. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20378-8.

Kennedy E, Coulter EM, Halliwell E, Profitos-Peleja N, Walsby E, et al.TLR9 expression in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia identifies a pro-migratory subpopulation and novel therapeutic target.Blood. 2021 Jan 7:blood.2020005964. doi: 10.1182/blood.2020005964. Online ahead of print.

Phillips R, Wood H, Weaving G, Chevassut T.Changes in full blood count parameters with age and sex: results of a survey of almost 900 000 patient samples from primary care.Br J Haematol. 2021 Feb;192(4):e102-e105. doi: 10.1111/bjh.17290. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Wei AH, Döhner H, Pocock C, Montesinos P, Afanasyev B, et al.Oral Azacitidine Maintenance Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in First Remission.N Engl J Med. 2020 Dec 24;383(26):2526-2537. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2004444.

Alyss Robinson, Barbara Philips, Chi Eziefula, Gary Weaving, Kate Shipman, Timothy Chevassut.Real-World Experience of SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Assays in UK Healthcare Workers.Clin Med (Lond). Accepted, in press.

Ladikou EE, Sivaloganathan H, Milne KM, Arter WE, Ramasamy R, Saad R, Stoneham SM, Philips B, Eziefula AC, Chevassut T.Von Willebrand factor (vWF): marker of endothelial damage and thrombotic risk in COVID-19?Clin Med (Lond). 2020 Sep;20(5):e178-e182. doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2020-0346. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Sivaloganathan H, Ladikou EE, Chevassut T.COVID-19 mortality in patients on anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents.Br J Haematol. 2020 Aug;190(4):e192-e195. doi: 10.1111/bjh.16968. Epub 2020 Jul 19.

Stoneham SM, Milne KM, Nuttall E, Frew GH, Sturrock BR, Sivaloganathan H, Ladikou EE, Drage S, Phillips B, Chevassut TJ, Eziefula AC.Thrombotic risk in COVID-19: a case series and case-control study.Clin Med (Lond). 2020 Jul;20(4):e76-e81. doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2020-0228. Epub 2020 May 18.

Milne K, Sturrock B, Chevassut T.Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia in 2020: the Future Has Arrived.Curr Oncol Rep. 2020 Mar 14;22(4):36. doi: 10.1007/s11912-020-0893-0.

Rau RE, Rodriguez BA, Luo M, Jeong M, Rosen A, Rogers JH, Campbell CT, Daigle SR, Deng L, Song Y, Sweet S, Chevassut T, Andreeff M, Kornblau SM, Li W, Goodell MA.DOT1L as a therapeutic target for the treatment of DNMT3A-mutant acute myeloid leukemia.Blood. 2016 Aug 18;128(7):971-81. doi: 10.1182/blood-2015-11-684225. Epub 2016 Jun 22.

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