Dr Sung Gong

Senior Research Associate in Bioinformatics

Contact information

01223 63100

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
University of Cambridge Clinical School
Box 223, The Rosie Hospital, Robinson Way
United Kingdom


Sung Sam Gong completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry, under the supervision of professor Sir Tom Blundell. His PhD project was to study structural and functional constraints of amino acid replacements in proteins to better understand patterns of protein evolution, consequences of non-synonymous SNPs and cancer somatic mutations on protein coding regions. Following this Sung was a lead Bioinformatician in molecular diagnostics at the NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit at the Royal Brampton Hospital in London. There he worked on genetics and genomics programmes to develop molecular diagnostics for inherited cardiovascular diseases (e.g. cardiomyopathy and arrhythmias), by using patient’s personal genome information.

Research interests

Currently Sung is working as a Senior Research Associate in Bioinformatics, at the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department, on a project funded by the NIHR (National Institute fro Health Research) to apply high throughput genome sequencing based methods to the placenta, comparing samples from complicated pregnancies (principally those with fetal growth restriction and/or pre-eclampsia) with matched normal controls. The overarching aim is to identify biomarkers for fetal growth restriction and/or pre-eclampsia in the maternal blood.


The RNA landscape of the human placenta in health and disease. Gong S, Gaccioli F, Dopierala J, Sovio U, Cook E, Volders PJ, Martens L, Kirk PDW, Richardson S, Smith GCS, Charnock-Jones DS. Nat Commun. 2021 May 11;12(1):2639. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22695-y. PMID: 33976128

Fetal inheritance of chromosomally integrated human herpesvirus 6 predisposes the mother to pre-eclampsia. Gaccioli F, Lager S, de Goffau MC, Sovio U, Dopierala J, Gong S, Cook E, Sharkey A, Moffett A, Lee WK, Delles C, Venturini C, Breuer J, Parkhill J, Peacock SJ, Charnock-Jones DS, Smith GCS. Nat Microbiol. 2020 Jul;5(7):901-908. doi: 10.1038/s41564-020-0711-3. PMID: 32367053

Placental polyamine metabolism differs by fetal sex, fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia. Gong S, Sovio U, Aye IL, Gaccioli F, Dopierala J, Johnson MD, Wood AM, Cook E, Jenkins BJ, Koulman A, Casero RA Jr, Constância M, Charnock-Jones DS, Smith GC. JCI Insight. 2018 Jul 12;3(13):e120723. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.120723. PMID: 29997303

Genome-wide oxidative bisulfite sequencing identifies sex-specific methylation differences in the human placenta.
Gong S, Johnson MD, Dopierala J, Gaccioli F, Sovio U, Constância M, Smith GCS, Charnock-Jones DS. Epigenetics. 2018 Feb 21:1-12 doi:10.1080/15592294.2018.1429857. PMID: 29376485

RNA-Seq reveals conservation of function among the yolk sacs of human, mouse and chicken. Cindrova-Davies T, Jauniaux E, Elliot MG, Gong S, Burton GJ, Charnock-Jones DS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jun 13;114(24):E4753-E4761. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1702560114. PMID: 28559354

Integrated allelic, transcriptional, and phenomic dissection of the cardiac effects of titin truncations in health and disease. Roberts AM, Ware JS, Herman DS, Schafer S, Baksi J, Bick AG, Buchan RJ, Walsh R, John S, Wilkinson S, Mazzarotto F, Felkin LE, Gong S, MacArthur JA, Cunningham F, Flannick J, Gabriel SB, Altshuler DM, Macdonald PS, Heinig M, Keogh AM, Hayward CS, Banner NR, Pennell DJ, O'Regan DP, San TR, de Marvao A, Dawes TJ, Gulati A, Birks EJ, Yacoub MH, Radke M, Gotthardt M, Wilson JG, O'Donnell CJ, Prasad SK, Barton PJ, Fatkin D, Hubner N, Seidman JG, Seidman CE, Cook SA. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Jan 14;7(270):270ra6. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3010134.

NECTAR: a database of codon-centric missense variant annotations. Gong S, Ware J, Walsh R. Cook S. Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan 1;42(1):D1013-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1245.

Next generation diagnostics in inherited arrhythmia syndromes: a comparison of two approaches. Ware JS, John S, Roberts AM, Buchan R, Gong S, Peters NS, Robinson DO, Lucassen A, Behr ER, Cook SA. J Cardiovasc Transl Res. 2013 Feb;6(1):94-103.

MetaBase--the wiki-database of biological databases. Bolser DM, Chibon PY, Palopoli N, Gong S, Jacob D, Del Angel VD, Swan D, Bassi S, González V, Suravajhala P, Hwang S, Romano P, Edwards R, Bishop B, Eargle J, Shtatland T, Provart NJ, Clements D, Renfro DP, Bhak D, Bhak J. Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Jan;40(Database issue):D1250-4.

Meet me halfway: when genomics meets structural bioinformatics. Gong S, Worth CL, Cheng TM, Blundell TL. J Cardiovasc Transl Res. 2011 Jun;4(3):281-303.

Structural and Functional Restraints on the Occurrence of Single Amino Acid Variations in Human Proteins. Gong S, Blundell TL (2010), PLoS ONE 5(2): e9186.

MitoInteractome: mitochondrial protein interactome database, and its application in 'aging network' analysis. Reja R, Venkatakrishnan AJ, Lee J, Kim BC, Ryu JW, Gong S, Bhak J, Park D. BMC Genomics. 2009 Dec 3;10 Suppl 3:S20.

Structural and functional constraints in the evolution of protein families. Worth CL, Gong S, Blundell TL. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;10(10):709-20.

Structural interactomics: informatics approaches to aid the interpretation of genetic variation and the development of novel therapeutics. Lee S, Brown A, Pitt WR, Perez Higueruelo A, Gong S, Bickerton GR, Schreyer A, Tanramluk D, Baylay A, Blundell TL. Mol Biosyst. 2009 Aug 6.

Structural and functional restraints in the evolution of protein families and superfamilies. Gong S, Worth CL, Bickerton GR, Lee S, Tanramluk D, Blundell TL. Biochem Soc Trans. 2009 Aug;37(Pt 4):727-33.

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