We use genetics to investigate cardiac diseases and cardiovascular abnormalities.
One of our current research areas of focus is how we can use genetics to elucidate the molecular basis of underlying abnormalities of heart rhythm and function.
Abnormalities in cardiac electrical activity on an ECG can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and adverse outcomes such as atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death.
To identify novel pathways, we are using a broad range of techniques including:
- population genetics
- cell biology
- zebrafish models of arrhythmias
In collaboration with clinical researchers we are using genetics and Next Generation Sequencing to focus on individuals with monogenic cardiac diseases such as long QT and Brugada syndromes and cardiomyopathies.
The Lymphovascular Research Unit
The Lymphovascular Research Unit focuses on identifying the genetic basis of various forms of primary lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is the chronic swelling of one or more body parts, most commonly an arm or leg.
By utilising genomic information through linkage studies and Next Generation Sequencing, we aim to improve our understanding of the mechanistic basis of lymphatic disease. This in turns help us improve diagnostics and therapeutic decision making.
We are particularly interested in using the parallels between zebrafish and human development and physiology to investigate genetic disease. This includes expanding our knowledge on a group of human disorders known as the ciliopathies.
Dysfunctional cilia are known to underlie a number of chronically disabling and sometimes life-threatening genetic conditions. They affect many systems, and cause conditions which include kidney disease, obesity and heart disease.
We are working to develop semi-high throughput methods in zebrafish for testing drugs which can ameliorate various aspects of ciliopathies.