After combining studies in engineering and molecular biology, Peter Van Loo embarked on a PhD in computational biology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Through initial studies in breast cancer and lymphoma, he developed an interest in cancer research.
As a postdoctoral researcher, he developed approaches to study copy-number alterations in cancer genomes, at the Institute for Cancer Research, University of Oslo. The potential created by these methods laid the foundation for many further studies in cancer genomics and prompted him to focus on massively parallel sequencing of cancers and to move to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. There, he developed a strong focus on 'molecular archaeology' approaches, studying the subclonal architecture and life history of cancers using whole genome sequencing.
He is a Winton Group Leader, in recognition of the Winton Charitable Foundation's generous donation towards the institute. His current research at the Francis Crick Institute (previously the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute) aims to leverage the wealth of data from massively parallel sequencing efforts to understand carcinogenesis and cancer evolution.