Peter O'Neill

My interests over the years have focussed on the chemistry and biochemical pathways involved in the repair of radiation-induced DNA damage and more recently have focussed on clustered DNA damage.

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Helen Fanyinka
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St Cross College

Research Summary

Peter O’Neill was recently made Emeritus Professor in the Department of Oncology following his retirement in March 2017 after >35 years undertaking research on hypoxia and radiosensitivity, radiosensitisers and more recently radiation-induced clustered DNA damage repair, with much of the research funded by the MRC, EU, US Department of Energy.  He continues to offer advice to members of the Institute and Department and serves on numerous external advisory panels.



Professor Peter O’Neill was the course Director of the MSc in Radiation Biology until 2016 and Deputy Director of the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology within the Department of Oncology until 2017.

Following post-doctoral positions first at the Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie in Mülheim, Germany, and then at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, UK, he spent 23 years carrying out research at the MRC Radiation and Genome Stability Unit (formerly Radiobiology Unit) in Harwell, Oxfordshire. He came to Oxford to lead the DNA Damage Group in 2005 until his retirement in 2017. 

He is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Radiation Biology and of Radiation Research and has over 235 peer-reviewed publications. He provides consultancy and advice to several international organisations including NASA and EU funded MELODI Consortium.  He was President of the Radiation Research Society of USA in 2010 and serves on several international committees relating to radiation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and was awarded the Failla medal and the Weiss medal as an outstanding member of the scientific community in recognition of a history of significant contributions to radiation research.



Reynolds, P.; Cooper, S.; Lomax, M.; O'Neill, P. Disruption of PARP1 function inhibits base excision repair of a sub-set of DNA lesions. Nucleic Acids Res 43, 4028-4038 (2015)

Eccles, L.J., Menoni, H., Angelov, D., Lomax, M.E. and O’Neill, P., Efficient cleavage of single and clustered AP site lesions within mono-nucleosome templates by CHO-K1 nuclear extract contrasts with retardation of incision by purified APE1. DNA Repair 35, 27-36 (2015)

Abdelrazzak, A.B., Pottgießer, S.J., Hill, M.A., Peter O`Neill, P. and Bauer, G, Enhancement of peroxidase release from non-malignant and malignant cells through low-dose irradiation with different radiation quality Radiat Res 185, 199–213 (2016)

Hill, MA, O’Neill, P  and McKenna, WG, Comments on potential health effects of MRI-induced DNA lesions: quality is more important to consider than quantity. Eur. Heart J. – Cardiovascular Imaging 17, 1230-1238 (2016)

Patel, A, Anderson, J, Kraft, D, Finnon, R,  Finnon, P, Scudamore, CL, Manning, G,  Bulman, R, Brown, N, Bouffler S, O’Neill, P and Badie, C, The influence of the CTIP polymorphism, Q418P, on homologous recombination and predisposition to radiation-induced tumorigenesis (mainly rAML) in mice. Radiat. Res. 186, 638-649 (2016).

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