Dr Yalda Jamshidi is Reader in Genomic Medicine at St George's University of London. She runs a research group interested in identifying genetic variation associated with rare and common diseases and investigating the underlying molecular mechanisms. She also co-directs the Genetics Research Centre which includes 11 principal investigators and their groups, with associate members from across the university and Trust.
Dr Jamshidi trained at University College London and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute of Child Health and Kings College London before taking an academic position at St.George’s.
She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and a local representative for the Genetics Society. She is a member of the editorial board for the Physiological Genomics Journal and the Journal Genes.
She is keen to share her excitement about genetics research with the public through seminars at local schools, interactions on social media, and talking to patient advocacy groups to see what the patients themselves want from the research. She also works with the Science Media Centre, an independent press office helping to ensure that the public have access to the best scientific evidence and expertise through the news media when science hits the headlines.
Dr Yalda Jamshidi is a member of (and co-lead for) the Genetics Research Centre. Her interests focus on identifying genetic variation associated with rare and common diseases, and investigating the underlying molecular mechanisms.
The Genome Medicine field has witnessed dramatic changes in recent years that have brought the prospect and promises of personalized medicine closer than ever before. Researchers can investigate the cause of a rare disease starting with the DNA sequence of affected and unaffected family members. Through large Biobanking efforts, greater and greater numbers of individual participants are also helping to provide the power to detect genetic determinants of common disease.
Most people, have come across complex traits such as heart rate, eye colour and height. But they also include common human diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and coronary heart disease. Through a long standing collaboration with the TwinsUK - the largest twin registry in the UK for the study of genes, the environment and common disease, and international research groups, Dr Jamshidi and her team have identified many of the genes associated with heart rhythm.
Collectively, rare conditions are not so rare, affecting a total of nearly 30 million in Europe alone. Children account for 50% of rare disease patients. At least 40% of these children don't have a diagnosis. Importantly, we know that more than 80% of rare diseases are caused by faulty genes. Dr Jamshidi and her team have identified new genes associated with heart, muscle and neurological conditions by analysing and interpreting genetic data. These studies have also provided a greater understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms, often through the use of zebrafish models (in collaboration with Dr Daniel Osborn).
Research in the group is currently funded by Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children, and Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Dr Jamshidi has a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare and Biomedical Education. She gives lectures on stem cells, cloning, genetics and gene therapy to undergraduate, intercalated BSc and postgraduate students and runs a popular Cardiovascular Genetics module on the MSc in Genomic Medicine. She is personal tutor to both Medical, Biomedical Science and postgraduate Genomic Medicine students, and is currently an external examiner for the Genomic Medicine MSc at Exeter University.