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

Kathy Evans Research Group

Genetic and Functional Analysis of Neuropsychiatric Illness

Section: Translational Epidemiology

Photo of Dr Kathy Evans
Dr Kathy Evans

Research in a Nutshell

My goal is to uncover the biological mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease) and psychiatric disorders (such as depression) and work towards new treatments. 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 functional analyses of neural derivatives of iPSC lines complemented by characterisation of the epigenome, transcriptome and proteome. 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.  

While I am interested in a wide-range of research questions pertaining to neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions, 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. 

 

Examples of current projects include:  

  • Development of a phenotype-based high throughout drug screen centred around a candidate gene for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Characterisation of the impact of mutations in the sortilin gene family, via analysis of cellular phenotypes in neuronal derivatives of iPSC lines that have been subjected to genome editing. 
  • Whole genome methylomic (and other omic) analyses of Generation Scotland, a family and population-based cohort with extensive cognitive and psychiatric phenotype data plus the ability to perform record linkage to NHS records.

 

K.Evans group

People

Dr Kathy Evans Group Leader
Susan Anderson Research Assistant
Sophie Glen PhD Student
Amina McDiarmid Research Associate
Stewart Morris Bioinformatician
Eleanor Stamp MSc Student

Contact

Kathy.Evans@ed.ac.uk

Collaborations

  • Prof Neil Carragher, Dr Riccardo Marioni, Dr Pippa Thomson, IGC, University of Edinburgh.
  • Dr Rosie Walker, Prof Andrew McIntosh, University of Edinburgh.
  • Dr Matthew White and Prof Jemeen Sreedharan, King’s College London.
  • Dr Katerina Gospodinova, University of Oxford.
  • Dr Simon Gerup, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Partners and Funders

Current:

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK
  • Bequest from Eva Lester

Past:

  • The Wellcome Trust
  • 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

Neurodegenerative illness, psychiatric Illness, epigenetics

Technology Expertise

CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, production and analysis of neuronal derivatives of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), omics analyses.