Having completed my PhD in Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at Oxford University, I held a postdoctoral research position at University College London before joining AstraZeneca in 2018. As a bioinformatician in Oncology R&D, I support data analysis at all stages of drug discovery, from identifying new targets all the way to first-in-human and clinical trials. Typically, my work aims to enhance our understanding of the mechanism of drug action or to develop new biomarker strategies and facilitate patient selection for our clinical trials.

My most remarkable scientific achievement so far has been to elucidate the function and biomarker potential of extracellular, non-coding RNAs in the context of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disease. My contributions to the field are highlighted by six first-authored publications in the last five years, in addition to three co-authored publications.

Since joining AstraZeneca, I have been leading our efforts to develop the capabilities to analyse high dimensional mass cytometry data at single cell resolution. This technology offers the possibility of dissecting cellular subsets and molecular pathways associated with immune-mediated control of tumour growth in unprecedented detail.

The most exciting part of my job is to engage in the biological interpretation of our data. I work very closely with the discovery and translational teams to generate meaningful hypotheses that will allow us to make informed decisions and hopefully progress a medicine through the pipeline.

These are exciting times to be in bioinformatics because we now have the technology and analysis tools to expand our understanding of human disease to single cell resolution. We are generating results with unprecedented speed and detail, with an aim to revolutionise the way we understand and treat disease.

Anna Coenen Stass Senior Scientist, Bioinformatics, Research and Early Development, Oncology R&D


2019: IMED Recognition Award


2019: IMED Innovation and Achievement Award


2016: MRC Proximity to Discovery Award


Senior Scientist, Bioinformatics, Research and Early Development, Oncology R&D


Global transcriptomics and single cell lead for AstraZeneca’s early computational oncology group


Developed AstraZeneca’s internal analysis platform for single cell mass cytometry (CyTOF) data


PhD in Biomedical Science, Oxford University

  Featured publications

Extracellular microRNAs exhibit sequence-dependent stability and cellular release kinetics.

Coenen-Stass AML et al. RNA Biol. 2019

Comprehensive RNA sequencing analysis in serum and muscle reveals novel small RNA signatures with biomarker potential for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Coenen-Stass AML et al. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2018

PI3Kα/δ inhibition promotes anti-tumor immunity through direct enhancement of effector CD8+ T-cell activity.

Carnevalli LS, Sinclair C, Taylor MA, Gutierrez PM, Langdon S, Coenen-Stass AML et al. J Immunother Cancer 2018

Biomarker Potential of Extracellular MicroRNAs in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Coenen-Stass AML et al. Trends Mol Med. 2017.

Identification of novel, therapy-responsive protein biomarkers in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy by aptamer-based serum proteomics.

Coenen-Stass AML et al. Sci Rep. 2015