Graham Ball

Graham Ball


School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Professor Ball supervises the bioinformatics team; undergraduate and postgraduate research projects. He also teaches on the modules Bioinformatics; Statistics; and Environmental Science.

Career overview

Professor Ball has a BSc (Honours) in Applied Biology (2:1).

He became a Doctor of Philosophy in July 1996 after studying at Trent Polytechnic (Nottingham Trent University). His thesis was on the Use of artificial Neural Networks to model plant and Ozone interactions. Focussing on computational modelling of the effects of climatic factors on the response of plants (physiological and biochemical) to Ozone pollution with a view to modification of the UN set critical levels for ozone pollution for difference environmental conditions. Sponsored by Department of the Environment and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

He has worked as a Professor of Bioinformatics at Nottingham Trent University since 2007.

Research areas

Current research interests have focused on the development and application of bio-infomatic algorithms using Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) to medical diagnostics and statistics including:

  • Cancer systems biology and bioinformatics
  • Identification of prognostic, diagnostic and predictive biomarkers for disease and therapy
  • Derivation and development of prognostic indices for cancer
  • Characterisation of tumours from immuno-histochemical markers in breast cancer
  • Molecular diagnostic modelling of cancer disease characteristics from mass spectrometry data of tissue and serum
  • Strain and species characterisation of bacterial pathogens from MS and sequence data
  • Modelling immune response in prostate cancer.

Professor Ball has vast experience of supervising research students and opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist, further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

Sponsors and collaborators

Research funding has included:

  • Validation of prognostic biomarkers for Sepsis, lead by K Kempsall, Technology Strategy Board Sepsis 2, Health Protection Agency, total value £1.2M, value to NTU £180,000
  • Nottingham Prognostic Index Plus (NPI+), RC DPFS award (DPFSDP003), lead by Prof I Ellis, University of Nottingham, total value £767,375, value to NTU £190,864
  • Characterization of cellular stress using mass spectrometry, lead by Dr S Ward, Onyvax Ltd, DTI technology programme (TP/7/BIO/6/S/M0011G) (2008-2011), total value £1.1M, value to NTU £75,000
  • Using a panel of potential CSF biomarkers for alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, co-applicants G Ball, R Rees and B Matharoo-Ball. Lead Applicant K Morgan, Alzheimer’s Research Trust, (ART/PG2008/3), total Value £213,884, value to NTU £177,228
  • European Network for the identification and validation of Antigens and biomarkers in Cancer and their application in clinical Tumour immunology, principal investigator Dr G Ball, coordinator Prof R Rees, European Union Sixth Framework funded specific targeted research project  (Contract number LSH-2002-2 503306)  (2005- 2008), total Value €4.23M Euro (Grant value for Professor Ball's component €420,000 (£323,000)
  • Computational intelligence for biopattern analysis in support of eHealthcare. principal investigator Dr G Ball, Coordinator Prof E Ifeachior, European Union Sixth Framework funded Network of Excellence (Contract number IST-2002-1 508803) BIOPATTERN (2005-2008), total Value €6.2M (Grant value for Professor Ball's component €196,000 (£151,000)
  • Biomarker discovery and validation, lead applicant Y Barnett., co applicants G Ball and R Rees, East Midlands Development Agency Technology fund, value to NTU £476,085
  • The application of cellular chemistry and proteomic approaches to the detection of gene doping, Prof P Teale, Dr J Roberts, Dr G Ball, Prof. C Creaser and Prof. G Goldspink. World Anti Doping Agency (2005-2008), total value £210,000 NTU £90,000 (Joint with Prof C Creaser).


Proposal for a modified grading system based on mitotic index and Bcl2 provides objective determination of clinical outcome for patients with breast cancer. Abdel-Fatah TMA, Powe DG, Ball G, Lopez-Garcia MA, Habashy HO, Green AR, Reis-Filho JS, Ellis IO, Journal of Pathology, 2010, 222 (4), 388-399

Identification of SPARC-like 1 protein as part of a biomarker panel for alzheimer's disease in cerebrospinal lluid. Vafadar-Isfahani, Ball G, Coveney C, Lemetre C, Boocock D, Minthon L, Hansson O, Miles AK, Janciauskiene SM, Warden D, Smith A D, Wilcock G, Kalsheker N, Rees R, Matharoo-Ball, Morgan K, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 28 (3), 625-636

NKG2D ligand expression in human colorectal cancer reveals associations with prognosis and evidence for immunoediting. Roger W, Mcgilvray R, Eagle RA, Watson NFS, Al-Attar A, Ball G, Jafferji I, Trowsdale J and Durrant LG, Clinical Cancer Research, 2009, 15, 6993

Global histone modifications in breast cancer correlate with tumour phenotypes, prognostic factors and patient outcome. Ball G, Elsheikh S, Green A, Rakha EA, Powe DG, Ahmed RA et al, Cancer Research, 2009, 69 (9), 380

Microrna signatures predict estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and Her2/Neu receptor status in breast cancer. Ball G, Blake J, Lowery AJ, Miller N, Devaney A, Mcneil RE, Davoren PA, Lemtre C, Benes V, Schmidt S, Kerin MJ, Ball G, Breast Cancer Research, 2009, 11 (3)

A validated gene expression profile for detecting clinical outcome in breast cancer using artificial neural networks. Lancashire LJ, Powe DG, Reis-Filho JS, Rakha E, Lemetre C, Weigelt B, Abdel-Fatah TM, Green AR, Mukta R, Blamey R, Paish EC, Rees RC, Ellis IO, Ball GR, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 2009, 120 (1), 83-93, DOI:10.1007/s10549-009-0378-1 Impact Factor (2008): 5.684 Citations 11

An introduction to artificial neural networks in bioinformatics: application to complex microarray and mass spectrometry datasets in cancer studies. Lancashire LJ, Lemetre C and Ball GR, Briefings in Bioinformatics, 2009, 10 (3), 315-329

See all of Graham Ball's publications...

Press expertise

  • Biomarker discovery
  • Stratified medicine
  • Systems biology bioinformatics