Professor Stephen Bustin

Professor of Molecular Medicine

Postgraduate Medical Institute

Faculty:Faculty of Medical Science

Department:Medical Science and Public Health

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Molecular techniques

Professor Stephen Bustin is a world-renowned expert on quantitative PCR, and his research focuses on translating molecular techniques into practical, robust and reliable tools for clinical and diagnostic use.

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Professor Stephen Bustin obtained his PhD in Molecular Genetics from Trinity College, University of Dublin and was Professor of Molecular Science at Queen Mary University of London. He has authored numerous papers, review articles and book chapters aimed at improving the reproducibility and robustness of real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), including the "A-Z of quantitative PCR" (2004), “The PCR Revolution” (2011) and “PCR Technology” (2013). He has published the first online series of qPCR-related books under the title of “Definitive qPCR” ( Professor Stephen Bustin was an expert witness advising the UK High Court on qPCR technology in the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine - Autism class action as well as at the MMR trial in Washington DC in 2007. He led an international consortium developing the MIQE guidelines for the use and reporting of qPCR (2009) and digital PCR (2013).

Professor Bustin’s research interests include identifying prognostic biomarkers for colorectal cancer and, more recently, developing novel approaches to the early diagnosis of fungal and bacterial pathogens. Professor Bustin has extensive editorial involvements as Editor-in-Chief, Biomolecular Detection and Quantification (Elsevier), Editor-in Chief (Gene Expression), International Journal of Molecular Sciences, and as a member of the editorial boards of “Nature Scientific Reports”, “Gene Regulation and Systems Biology” and “ Biomarkers in Medicine”.

Research interests

  • Molecular Diagnostics
  • Cancer biology
  • Nucleic acid quantification
  • Proximity ligation assay


  • BA (Mod) Trinity College Dublin
  • PhD Trinity College Dublin

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow of the Society of Biology (FSB)

Selected recent publications

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Bustin, S.A., Beaulieu, J.F., Huggett, J., Jaggi, R., Kibenge, F.S., Olsvik, P.A., Penning, L.C., Toegel, S. (2010) MIQE précis: Practical implementation of minimum standard guidelines for fluorescence-based quantitative real-time PCR experiments. BMC Mol Biol. 11:74

Murphy, J., Bustin, S.A. (2010) Real-time Quantitative PCR as a Bioanalytical Tool in the Pharmaceutical Industry Internat Drug Discovery Feb/Mar: 12-20

Bustin, S.A. (2010) Why the need for qPCR publication guidelines? -The case for MIQE. Methods 50:215-226

Bustin, S.A. (2010) Developments in real-time PCR research and molecular diagnostics Expert Rev Mol Diagn.10:713-15.

Bustin, S.A., Benes, V., Garson, J.A., Hellemans, J., Huggett, J., Kubista, M., Mueller, R., Nolan, T., Pfaffl, M.W., Shipley, G.L, Vandesompele, J., Wittwer, C.T. (2011) Primer sequence disclosure: a clarification of the MIQE guidelines Clin Chem. Jun; 57; 919-921.

Bustin, S., Bergkvist, A., Nolan, T. (2011) In silico tools for qPCR assay design and data analysis. Methods Mol Biol. 760:283-306

Bustin, S.A., Penning, L.C. (2012) Improving the analysis of quantitative PCR data in veterinary research. Vet J. 191:279-281.

Johnson, G.L., Bibby, D.F., Wong, S., Agrawal, S., Bustin, S.A. (2012) A MIQE-Compliant Real-Time PCR Assay for Aspergillus Detection PLoS ONE 7(7): e40022. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040022

Bustin, S.A., Murphy, J. (2013) Biomarkers in colorectal cancer Methods; 59:116-25. Johnson, G., Nolan, T., Bustin, S.A. (2013) Real-time quantitative PCR, pathogen detection and MIQE. Methods Mol Biol. 943:1-16.

Huggett, J.F., Foy, C.A., Benes, V., Emslie, K., Garson, J.A., Haynes, R., Hellemans, J., Kubista, M., Mueller, R.D., Nolan, T., Pfaffl, M.W., Shipley, G.L., Vandesompele, J., Wittwer, C.T., Bustin, S.A. (2013) The Digital MIQE Guidelines: Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Digital PCR Experiments. Clin Chem. 59:892-902

Johnson, G.L., Sarker, S.J., Hill, K., Tsitsikas, D.A., Morin, A., Bustin, S.A., Agrawal, S.G. (2013) Significant Decline in Galactomannan Signal during Storage of Clinical Serum Samples. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jun 24;14(7):12970-7

Al-Ramadhani, S., Sai-Giridhar, P., George, D., Gopinath, P., Arkoumani, E., Jader, S., Sundaresan, M., Salgado, R., Larsimont, D., Bustin, S.A., Sundaresan, V. (2013) Metasin-An Intra-Operative RT-qPCR Assay to Detect Metastatic Breast Cancer in Sentinel Lymph Nodes. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jun 24;14 (7):12931-52.

Bustin, S. Transparency of reporting in molecular diagnostics (2013). Int J Mol Sci. 14:15878-84.

El Zowalaty, M.E., Bustin, S.A., Husseiny, M.I., Ashour, H.M. (2013) Avian influenza: virology, diagnosis and surveillance. Future Microbiol. 8:1209-27.

Moor, H. Ofor, O., Dhillon, H.S., Greenwood, C., Bustin, SA. (2013) The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Innov Success 33:76-77

Bustin, S.A. et al. (2013) The need for transparency and good practices in the qPCR literature. Nature Methods 10:1063-1067

Dijkstra, J.R., van Kempen, L.C., Nagtegaal, I.D., Bustin, SA. (2014) Critical appraisal of quantitative PCR results in colorectal cancer research: Can we rely on published qPCR results? Mol Oncol. 8:4 813-818

Bustin, S.A., Nicholls, I.A., Iba, M. (2014) International journal of molecular science best paper award 2014. Int J Mol Sci. 15(1):1683-5.

Abdel Nour, A.M., Azhar, E., Damanhouri, G., Bustin, SA. (2014) Five Years MIQE Guidelines: The Case of the Arabian Countries. PLoS One. 4;9:e88266.

Johnson, G., Nour, AA., Nolan, T., Huggett, J., Bustin, S. (2014) Minimum information necessary for quantitative real-time PCR experiments. Methods Mol Biol. 1160:5-17

Johnson, G., Ferrini, A., Dolan, S.K., Nolan, T., Agrawal, S., Doyle, S., Bustin, SA. (2014) Biomarkers for invasive aspergillosis: the challenges continue. Biomark Med. 8:429-51.

Vrtačnik, P., Kos, S., Bustin, S.A., Marc, J., Ostanek, B. (2014) Influence of trypsinization and alternative procedures for cell preparation before RNA extraction on RNA integrity. Anal Biochem. 2014 463:38-44

Johnson, G.L., Sarker, S.J., Bustin, S.A., Agrawal, SG. (2014) Insufficient demonstration of long-term stability of Aspergillus galactomannan. J Clin Microbiol. 52:4118.

Bustin, S., Dhillon, H.S., Kirvell, S., Greenwood, C., Parker, M., Shipley, G.L. Nolan, T. (2014) Variability of the Reverse Transcription Step: Practical Implications. Clin. Chem Huggett, J., O’Grady, J. Bustin, S. (2014) How to make Mathematics Biology's next and better microscope. Biomol. Det. Quant. 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.bdq.2014.09.001

More publications from Professor Bustin