Division of Functional Genetics
Head of Division:
Group Leaders / Career Track Fellows
|Name (sorted in ascending order)||Role||Research Interests|
|Dr Megan Davey||Group Leader||
Our current projects include:
|Prof Colin Farquharson||Personal Chair of Skeletal Biology||
Unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for bone and cartilage growth, development and mineralisation in health and disease.
|Dr James Glover||Chancellor's Fellow||
The generation of structure from an initially homogeneous state, such as how an entire organism is developed from a single fertilised egg, is an enduring and fascinating scientific question. During embryonic development, the generation of spatially distinct repeating elements is essential for the correct function of many tissues and organs. These arrangements are called periodic patterns and are usually observed as spots or stripes. Forming autonomously from an initially homogenous state periodic patterns include the digits of the limb, the appendages of the skin including hair follicles, feathers and fingerprints, and the villi of the intestine. However, developmental disorders associated with disruption of these patterning events occur in all species, including humans and livestock, and affects multiple processes including skeletogenesis, gut formation and skin development.
Our research group is interested in how periodic patterns are produced during embryogenesis, with a particular focus on decoupling the influences of the molecular and mechanoceullar environment on these processes. We take a multidisciplinary approach incorporating aspects of several fields including cell biology, developmental biology, mathematics and engineering, using the chick embryo as our primary model. Our goal is to understand the core processes which drive vertebrate periodic pattern formation to provide insight into the causality of associated birth disorders and help guide future regenerative medicine strategies.
|Dr Denis Headon||Group Leader/Senior Research Fellow||
Development, maintenance and repair of the skin and its appendages.
|Dr Vicky MacRae||Reader||
Investigating new mechanisms of bone formation and vascular calcification.
|Professor Simone Meddle||Personal Chair of Behavioural Neuroendocrinology||
Adaptations of the neuroendocrine system: hormonal and neural regulation of reproduction and behaviour. Animal Welfare: Neurobiology of positive welfare and behaviour.
|Dr Joe Rainger||Roslin Research Fellow||
Our group investigates epithelial tissue fusion and related human disorders. Disruptions to how tissues fuse together during human development is a common cause of birth defects, affecting approximately 1 in 500 people in the UK. Our research has been prompted because despite our best efforts, most patients born with problems such as cleft palate, spina bifida, and heart defects still don't have the genetic cause of their disorder identified. This often impacts genetic counselling and efforts towards prevention. We also remain unsure what impacts maternal environment have on these conditions (e.g. illness, vitamin deficiency, or substance abuse). We aim to address these by performing transformative research to reveal the key genes, cell behaviours, and molecular systems required for normal tissue fusion, and provide a step-change in our knowledge of how these can be perturbed.