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Using cutting-edge genomics facilities at the University of Exeter, our internationally-renowned neurogenomics team is characterising the causes and consequences of molecular variation in the central nervous system, and the role this may play in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease.

A key focus is on the epigenetic processes that regulate gene expression, and how changes in gene function impact human health. There is growing interest in the role of epigenetic variation in mediating the interplay between genes and the environment. Disease-associated epigenetic marks are potentially reversible, therefore representing possible targets for the development of new drugs.

We use state-of-the-art genomic profiling methods and sophisticated bioinformatics analyses to explore regulatory genomic variation in post-mortem brain samples, population-based cohorts and experimental models (animal and cellular) of brain disease.

Areas of research:

  • Mapping gene regulation in the developing and aging human brain: We are studying how epigenomic variation influences gene regulation in the human brain, profiling DNA and histone modifications across specific brain regions and cell-types, and relating these to neuropsychiatric disease.
  • Profiling the epigenome in health and disease: We are leading systematic analyses of epigenetic variation in the brain associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease and are currently funded to perform large-scale studies in specific neural cell-types.
  • Characterising genetic influences on gene regulation in the central nervous system: We are exploring how genetic variation influences transcriptional and regulatory mechanisms in the human brain, using molecular QTLs to refine and fine-map genomic regions associated with disease.
  • Mapping transcript diversity and alternative splicing in the central nervous system: We are using long-read sequencing approaches to map alternative splicing and isoform diversity in the human brain, exploring changes across development and identifying novel transcripts associated with brain disease.

Neurogenomics - who we are

 Professor Jonathan Mill  Professor of Epigenomics
 Professor Katie Lunnon  Professor of Dementia Genomics
 Dr Emma Dempster  Senior Lecturer
 Dr Nicholas Clifton  Senior Research Fellow
 Dr Anna Migdalska-Richards  Lecturer
 Dr Rebecca Smith  Lecturer
 Dr Eilis Hannon  Senior Research Fellow
 Dr Adam Smith  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Dr Darren Soanes  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Dr Rosie Bamford  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Dr Barry Chioza  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Dr Gina Commin  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Dr Jennifer Imm  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Dr Jonathan Davies  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Dr Stefania Policicchio  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Dr Gemma Shireby  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
 Szi Kay Leung

 PhD Student

 Simeng Lin  PhD Student
 Ailsa MacCalman  PhD Student
 Emma Walker  PhD Student
 Joe Burrage  Research Technician
 Alice Franklin  Research Technician
 Luke Weymouth  Research Technician
 Josh Harvey  PhD Student
 Lachlan MacBean  PhD Student
 Michael Schrauben  PhD Student
 Greg Wheildon  PhD Student