Edinburgh Research Explorer

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of London
Bachelor of Science, University of Sheffield

Current Research Interests

Chromosomal instability during blood cell development

The role of chromatin during double strand break repair


Current: Principal Investigator, Sir Henry Dale Fellow and Chancellor's Fellow. MRC Human Genetics Unit, IGMM, University of Edinburgh

Key achievements: Uncovered roles for the SMC complex condensin in disease. Provided evidence that the formation of mitotic chromosomes that are competent for segregation is a developmentally regulated process.

Post-Doctoral (2008 - 2011): Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow in the laboratory of Barbara Meyer. UC Berkeley and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Key acheivements: Generated the first gene knockouts in animals using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). Showed that gene editing nucleases could be applied across species to study the evolution of developmental mechanisms.

Doctoral (2003 - 2007): Kings College London in the laboratory of Rebecca Oakey

Key achievements: Identified novel imprinted regions of the human and mouse genomes. Demonstrated that alternative splicing and polyadenylation can be regulated by epigenetic modification of chromatin.

My research in a nutshell

In order to maintain a stable genome through cell division, chromosomes must undergo replication and then condense before segregating equally into daughter cells during mitosis.  My laboratory uses blood cell development to understand how effectively these processes operate during the course of normal tissue development and homeostasis, and the consequences of their malfunction on mutagenesis and malignancy.

Several other projects in the lab make use of genome editing technologies. We are using CRISPR/Cas9 to study fundamental mechanisms of DNA repair, and to develop novel genome engineering strategies that expand the genetic toolbox.

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