Swift, Dr Lonnie


Lonnie Swift

Non-stipendiary Lecturer in Biochemistry

Academic background

Lonnie has a Bachelor of Science and one of Applied Science from La Trobe University, where he also did his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at La Trobe before joining the Universty of Oxford’s Department of Oncology in 2007. He has been a tutor in Biochemistry at St Anne’s since 2010 and since 2018 also at Merton college.


Lonnie teaches undergraduates reading Biochemistry and Medicine. His teaching focus is on molecular cellular biochemistry and medical genetics in the first year.

He also teaches genetics and molecular biology (with a focus on replication, transcription and DNA repair) to second and third year students.

Research interests

My work focuses on understanding the mechanisms that protect the genome from potentially detrimental damage, namely the DNA repair pathways. Many proteins play vital roles in repairing DNA damage, such as proteins with helicase activity, polymerase activity and nuclease activity. Most of my research focuses on the nucleases involved in DNA repair. These proteins play the important role of removing damaged DNA bases, or sections of DNA that must be removed for further repair to take place. Understanding the DNA repair processes will enable development of drugs that can synergise with pre-existing mutations in diseased cells.

Recent publications

SB Hatch*, LP Swift*, S Caporali, R Carter, EJ Hill, TP MacGregor, S D’Atri, PJ McHugh, RA Sharma (2014) XPF protein levels determine sensitivity of malignant melanoma cells to oxiplatin chemotherapy: Suitability as a biomarker for patient selection. International Journal of Cancer 134: 1495-503
(*equal first authors).

RA Forrest, LP Swift, BJ Evison, A Rephaeli, A Nudelman, DR Phillips, SM Cutts (2013) The hydroxyl epimer of doxorubicin controls the rate of formation of cytotoxic anthracycline-DNA adducts. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, 71(3):809-16

RA Forrest, LP Swift, A Rephaeli, A Nudelman, K Kimura, DR Phillips, SM Cutts (2012) Activation of DNA damage response pathways as a consequence of anthracycline-DNA adduct formation. Biochemical Pharmacology, 83:1602-1612.

AT Wang, B Sengerova, E Cattell, T Inagawa, JM Hartley, K Kiakos, NA Burgess-Brown, LP Swift, JH Enzlin, CJ Schofield, O Gileadi, JA Hartley, PJ McHugh (2011) Human SNM1A and XPF-ERCC1 collaborate to initiate DNA interstrand cross-link repair. Genes & Development, 25(17), 1859-70.