Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine

Kathy Evans Research Group

Genetic and Functional Analysis of Neuropsychiatric Illness

Section: Genomic Medicine

Kathy Evans
Dr Kathy Evans - Reader

Research in a Nutshell

My goal is to uncover the biological mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders (such as dementia) and psychiatric disorders (such as depression). This is an area where research has much to offer: these conditions are common; highly disabling; disease mechanisms are poorly understood and current treatment is inadequate. Our work spans prediction, biomarker identification, understanding mechanisms, identifying treatment targets, and, most recently, drug discovery. Techniques include characterisation of the epigenome, transcriptome and proteome, in order to facilitate an unbiased assessment of potential pathogenic mechanisms, complemented by functional analyses of cellular phenotype. I believe that integrating data-analytical and laboratory-based approaches and combining population-based and experimental datasets is a powerful strategy to address important research questions in neuroscience.   

Much of my group’s work is centred around the sortilin gene family. This comprises five multifunctional neuronal receptors and trafficking molecules that have been implicated in both psychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions. I am, however, interested in a wide-range of research questions pertaining to psychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions.   

Examples of current projects include:   

  • Functional analysis of mutations in candidate genes for the above disorders, via analysis of cellular phenotypes in iPSC-derived neuronal lines that have been subjected. Development of a phenotype-based high throughout drug screen centred around a candidate gene for Alzheimer’s disease.  
  • Whole genome methylomic (and other omic) analyses of Generation Scotland, a family and population-based cohort with extensive cognitive and psychiatric phenotype data. 

 

K.Evans group

People

Dr Kathy Evans Group Leader
Susan Anderson Research Assistant
Mairead Bermingham Research Associate
Panos Giannopolous PhD Student
Sophie Glen PhD Student
Katerina Gospodinova PhD Student
Stewart Morris Bioinformatician
Jonathan Phillips Research Associate
Rosie Walker Research Associate

Contact

Kathy.Evans@ed.ac.uk

Collaborations

•    Prof Cathy Abbott, Prof Neil Carragher, Dr Mandy Jonstone, Dr Kirsty Millar, Dr Kristin Nicodemus; Prof David Porteous, Dr Pippa Thomson, IGMM, University of Edinburgh  •     Prof Siddharthan Chandran, Prof Ian Deary, Prof Tilo Kunath, Dr Riccardo Marioni, Prof Andrew McIntosh, Prof Tara Spires-Jones, University of Edinburgh  •    Dr Simon Gerup, Prof Anders Nykjaer,  Aarhus University, Denmark •    Dr Dick McCombie, Cold Spring Harbor labs, USA

Partners and Funders

Current •    Bequest from Eva Lester •    The Sackler Foundation. •    The Wellcome Trust Past •    The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD) •    The Medical Research Council •    The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research •    The National Institute of Mental Health, USA  •    The Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office

Scientific Themes

Psychiatric Illness; Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinsons Disease, Epigenetics

Technology Expertise

CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, DNA methylation, expression analysis, bioinformatics, production and analysis of neuronal derivatives of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)