Chris Ponting Research Group
Computational and Disease Genomics
Section Head: Biomedical Genomics
Research in a Nutshell
The challenge in genomics is to identify DNA changes that predispose individuals to common disease; the challenge in genetics is to determine how these changes alter gene expression programmes; and, the challenge in cell biology is to find out how these altered programmes affect development, cells and organs. Our research uses cutting-edge technologies and analytical approaches in genomics, transcriptomics, and cell biology to trace the causal links from DNA change to physiological outcome. This research is thus positioned at the intersection between disease genomics, computational biology and experimental determination of molecular mechanism.
We are currently pursuing three research projects:
- Disease genomics. We use functional genomics approaches at the human population level to explore the causal chain linking DNA sequence variation with altered transcription factor binding, and thereon with changes in gene expression levels. Our intent is to use newly developed technological and analytical approaches to add one last link in the chain, namely how genetic control of expression contributes to complex disease susceptibility. This research is part of MRC Core funding.
- ME/CFS Genetics. Funded by MRC and NIHR, we are part of DecodeME, the world’s biggest genetic study of the causes of ME/CFS. This project is a co-production between academics, people with ME and carers. We also are investigating whether people with ME differ in their T-cell repertoire from healthy controls (funded by Action for M.E. and the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist’s Office).
- lncRNAs. We are funded by a Wellcome Investigator Award to investigate the molecular mechanisms of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in modulating mitochondrial function. More specifically, we use computational and experimental approaches to study many lncRNAs which, through their direct binding to microRNAs, modulate the abundance of transcripts encoding key mitochondrial proteins. We have shown that by altering the levels of these transcripts we can change catalytic rates in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway.
- Single cell genomics. With Prof Georg Hollander, we are undertaking transcriptomic analysis of single thymic epithelial cells to discover how they express nearly all protein-coding genes.
|Professor Chris Ponting||Group Leader|
|Jeanette Baran-Gale||Research Fellow|
|Talitha Bromwich||Research Fellow|
|Joshua Dibble||PhD Student|
|Louise Docherty||Research Fellow|
|Olympia Gianfrancesco||Research Fellow|
|Cath Heath||Research Fellow|
|Abel Jansma||PhD Student|
|Stephanie MacMaster||Research Assistant|
|Lucy Martin||Research Fellow|
Sebastian Rogatti Granados
|Pin Tong||Research Fellow|
- Professor Georg Hollander, University of Oxford
- Dr Ava Khamseh & Dr Sjoerd Beentjes, University of Edinburgh
Partners and Funders
- Action for ME/ Chief Scientist's Office, Scotland
Population genomics, long non-coding RNA mechanism, molecular mechanisms in complex disease.
Single cell biology