User:Soren Hough

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Contact Info

Søren Hough

Current Position

I am a PhD Student in the laboratory of Professor Sir Steve Jackson at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge. I conduct research on the role of post-translational modifications, specifically ubiquitylation, in the DNA damage response (DDR) and cancer. I primarily use genome editing (CRISPR), cell biology, and other molecular biology techniques in my work.

Research Background

I began my research career with Henry Furneaux, PhD, at the age of 15. While learning the principles of wet lab work in the Furneaux Lab, I performed an in silico experiment testing for viral microRNA regulation of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene. I presented my research formally at the end of summer 2009 to the faculty of the University of Connecticut Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine.

In the summer of 2010 I worked in a lab at the Douglas Mental Health Institute through McGill University doing research on differential gene expression in the brain. My investigations were done under the supervision of Gilles Maussion, PhD, and Gustavo Turecki, MD, PhD, as a part of the McGill Group for Suicide Studies. The research team at the Turecki Lab was interested in monitoring the role epigenetics play in causing suicidal behavior. My project involved analyzing whether key genes involved in neuronal signaling were the target of microRNAs, methylation, and transcription factors.

In fall 2010, I worked as a student researcher in the developmental epigenetics laboratory of Jesse Mager, PhD, a one of twenty-three undergraduate participants in the CNS First-Year Research Experience. The Mager Lab group’s objective was to look at how epigenetic factors affected embryogenesis. Using methyl-sensitive PCR, I investigated potential methylation sites in the promoter regions of two interrelated genes known to be expressed in oocytes, but not in the surrounding granulosa cells. I presented my research formally at the end of the semester.

I completed my honors thesis on intracellular transport in the molecular biophysics laboratory of Jennifer Ross, PhD. My project was to design a DNA origami structure to serve as a programmable artificial cargo to test the effect of kinesin-1 binding location on transport efficiency.

Subsequently, I found a position working with Wen Xue, PhD, at UMass Medical School as a Laboratory Technician before receiving a promotion to Research Associate. I was responsible for cloning guides into plasmid and viral vectors; executing maxipreps; mammalian cell culture; performing Western blots, protein gels and DNA gels; maintaining and genotyping the mouse colony; and immunohistochemical staining.

I then worked as the Head Science Writer at Desktop Genetics. I was responsible for all written scientific content on the Resources and Blog pages at I also contributed to scientific papers written both by our company and in collaboration with research partners in academia and industry. I wrote for AddGene and presented at several institutions around the world, including EMBL Heidelberg, the University of Cambridge, the Technical University of Munich and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


  • Biochemistry, 2023 (Expected), PhD, Departmental of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge
  • Microbiology, 2014, BS, Departmental Honors Scholar with Distinction, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Film Studies, 2014, Certificate, Honors Scholar with Distinction, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Research Interests

  1. CRISPR Technology and Application
  2. DNA Damage Response/DNA Repair
  3. Biomedical/Cancer Research
  4. microRNAs and Epigenetic Regulation of Disease


  1. Hough S, Ajetunmobi A. "A CRISPR Moratorium Isn't Enough: We Need a Boycott." December 2019. The CRISPR Journal. PUBMED [Article]
  2. Mou H, Ozata DM, Smith JL et al. “CRISPR-SONIC: targeted somatic oncogene knock-in enables rapid in vivo cancer modeling.” April 2019. BMC Genome Medicine. PUBMED [Article]
  3. Hough S, Ajetunmobi A. "The Future of CRISPR Applications in the Lab, the Clinic and Society." Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Spring. 2017. PUBMED [Chapter]
  4. Mou H, Moore J, Malonia SK et al. "Genetic disruption of oncogenic Kras sensitizes lung cancer cells to Fas receptor-mediated apoptosis." PNAS. 2017. PUBMED
  5. Hough S, Kancleris K et al. "Guide Picker is a comprehensive design tool for visualizing and selecting guides for CRISPR experiments." BMC Bioinformatics. 2017. PUBMED
  6. Shimpach S, Hough S. "Media Representation." in The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty. ABC-CLIO. 2017. Google Books [Chapter]
  7. Song CQ, Li Y et al. "Genome-wide CRISPR Screen Identifies Regulators of MAPK as Suppressors of Liver Tumors in Mice." Gastroenterology. 2016. PUBMED
  8. Wang D, Mou H, Li S et al. "Adenovirus-Mediated Somatic Genome Editing of Pten by CRISPR/Cas9 in Mouse Liver in Spite of Cas9-Specific Immune Responses" Human Gene Therapy. 2015. PUBMED
  9. Hough SH. “Using DNA Origami to Evaluate Motor Protein Binding Patterns.” Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts Amherst. 2014. [Undergraduate Honors Thesis]
  10. Hough SH. “Lloyd Garrison Seymour.” in African American National Biographies. Harvard University Press and Oxford University Press. 2009. Oxford University Press [Chapter]

Talks and Honors

  • The Glover Research Award 2023 · Issued by Glover Fund, University of Cambridge · Sep 2023
  • Opening Speaker at GSN 2023 · Issued by the GSN (Genome Stability Network) · Jan 2023
  • Elevated to Oral Presentation at the UK DNA Replication Meeting 2022 · Issued by UK DNA Replication Meeting 2022, Biochemical Society · Sep 2022
  • Accepted for Talk and Poster · Issued by DGDR-Krupp 2022 Symposium on DNA Repair and Human Disease · Apr 2022
  • Accepted Speaker · Issued by Molecules & Cells Theme Symposium: Proteostasis @Cambridge Part II · Mar 2022
  • The Tizard New Opportunities Fund Grant Recipient · Issued by Churchill College, University of Cambridge · Aug 2021
  • Selected Speaker · Issued by The 2nd International PhD Forum of Life and Health Sciences · Jul 2021
  • The Jennie Churchill Fund Grant Recipient · Issued by Churchill College, University of Cambridge · Jul 2021
  • Shortlisted for the Master's Essay Prize in Sustainability · Issued by Churchill College, University of Cambridge · Oct 2020
  • Invited Speaker - Bryant Laboratory · Issued by University of Cambridge · Jun 2020
  • Selected Speaker - CHUtalk Series at Churchill College · Issued by University of Cambridge · Jun 2020
  • Invited Speaker — Café Synthetique · Issued by Cambridge University · Jul 2017
  • Invited Speaker — · Issued by Technical University of Munich · Mar 2017
  • Invited Speaker — Genome Editing: EMBL Mini-Symposium · Issued by EMBL Heidelberg · Oct 2016
  • Genome Engineering: The CRISPR-Cas Revolution · Issued by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory · Aug 2016
  • 20th Annual UMass Medical School Research Retreat · Issued by University of Massachusetts Medical School · Oct 2015
  • Invited Guest Speaker — UMass Microbiology Department · Issued by University of Massachusetts Amherst · Sep 2015

Around the Web

  • LinkedIn Profile [2]
  • Writing Portfolio [3]
  • Movie Fail (Personal Website) [4]