Kathy Evans Research Group
Genetic and Functional Analysis of Neuropsychiatric Illness
Section: Genomic Medicine
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.
|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|
|Jonathan Phillips||Research Associate|
|Rosie Walker||Research Associate|
• 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
Psychiatric Illness; Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinsons Disease, Epigenetics
CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, DNA methylation, expression analysis, bioinformatics, production and analysis of neuronal derivatives of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)