The Roslin Institute
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Division of Functional Genetics

Staff list

Head of Division:

Dr Tom Burdon

Group Leader/Senior Research Fellow

Group Leaders / Career Track Fellows

Name (sorted in ascending order) Role Research Interests
Dr Megan Davey Group Leader

Our current projects include:

  • The embryological origin of radial aplasia
  • Fate mapping the limb bud and the control of co-ordinated development of limb anatomy
  • Developing novel avian transgenic tools for developmental biology
  • The evolution of limb pattern in birds
  • The function of TALPID3
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

Our research group is interested in how embryonic patterns are produced during development, with a particular focus on interrogating 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.