Genomics, Evolution and Medicine

"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution"


Theodosius Dobzhansky 1973


A brief history

My research interests are in combining evolutionary theory and genomics to investigate genetic mechanisms underlying disease. I earned my B.Sc. in Genetics and Cell Biology at Dublin City University, Ireland. Following a year as a research technician at the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN), USA, I was awarded an IRCSET scholarship to pursue my PhD in molecular evolution and phylogenomics. Here I employed heterogeneous models to identify the earliest diverging placental mammal as the ancestor to Afrotherians (e.g. Elephants and Manatees) and Xenartha (e.g. Armadillos and Sloths).


I have since worked as a computational biologist at Imperial College, London. Using Next Generation Sequencing techniques, I investigated the interplay between the methylome and transcriptome in mouse models of heart disease, development and regeneration.


At present I am dissecting the regulatory landscape of pancreatic islets and am pursuing population and statistical genetics to further understand the casual effect of pathogenic variants underlying Mendelian diabetes.


In human life

When I am not under the glow of my computer screen I try and catch up some vitamin D and go for a hike. Other interests include board/computer gaming, disc golf, ultimate frisbee and more recently, under water hockey.


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