Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
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Anna Stevenson

Investigating the relationship between inflammation, DNA methylation and cognitive decline.

Anna Stevenson

PhD Student - Marioni Lab

  • 1 George Square
  • Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ

Contact details

Personal Profile

  • 2016 to Present: Wellcome Trust 4 –year PhD in Translational Neuroscience 
  • 2013 - 2014: MSc Clinical Neuroscience, University College London
  • 2009 - 2012: BSc Physiological Sciences, University of Newcastle


My PhD focuses on investigating the relationship between inflammation, DNA methylation and cognitive decline using computational approaches in large cohorts and analysis of post-mortem brain tissue. Ricardo Marioni (IGMM) is my primary supervisor.

The project has two main objectives:

  • to determine the relationship between blood-based inflammatory biomarkers and inflammation-related genetic and epigenetic signatures, and investigate their associations with cognitive ability and decline in older age;
  • to investigate the DNA methylation profiles in various brain regions to establish the tissue, and region, specificity of age-and inflammation-associated methylation patterns and how these relate to neuro-immune processes within the brain.


  • Stevenson AJ, McCartney DL, Harris SE, Taylor AM, Redmond P, Starr JM, Zhang Q, McRae AF, Wary NR, Spires-Jones TL, McColl BW, McIntosh AM, Deary IJ, Marioni RE. Trajectories of inflammatory biomarkers over the eighth decade and their associations with immune cell profiles and epigenetic ageing. Clinical epigenetics 2018; 10(1): 159.
  • McCartney DL, Stevenson AJ, Walker RM, Gibson J, Morris SW, Campbell A, Murray AD, Whalley HC, Porteous DJ, McIntosh AM, Evans KL, Deary IJ, Marioni RE. Investigating the relationship between DNA methylation age acceleration and risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & dementia (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2018; 10: 429-437.