We are all products of our genes, and Genetics is a major focus of NDM research. Our podcasts on genetics look at a variety of projects, including the study of some common and less-common inherited afflictions, as well as the effects our genes can have on disease susceptibility and the efficacy of treatment. Moreover, NDM researchers lead in studying the genetic variation within and between human populations, to understand the similarities and differences between us all.
Professor Peter Donnelly tells us how genetics helps us to understand common diseases and develop new drugs. Understanding which variations in our DNA affect susceptibility to diseases can provide new insights into the disease process and lead to new treatments. Professor Peter Donnelly leads large collaborative human genetic studies, and his group develops and applies statistical methods to extract maximal information from the large datasets generated by genomic studies. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Every psychiatric disorder has a genetic contribution. Although anxiety and depression are very common diseases, current treatments are not very good. A better understanding of the contribution of genetic variants might help us better diagnose as well as develop new therapies. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Specific Language Impairment
Dr Dianne Newbury talks about the contribution of genetics to specific language impairment. Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is a complex genetic disorder in the development of language. Dr Dianne Newbury is looking for the genes that predispose to SLI. Two regions, located on chromosomes 16 and 19, are linked with this disorder. Interactions between several normal genetic variants and environmental factors make certain individuals more vulnerable to language problems. A better understanding of these underlying biological pathways will lead to the development of more accurate identification systems and better therapies. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Dr Krina Zondervan talks about endometriosis, an incapacitating women's health condition. Endometriosis is a gynaecological condition, which often causes severe pelvic pain and may lead to infertility. In women suffering from endometriosis, cells similar to those lining the uterus appear and flourish in areas outside the uterine cavity. Causes of endometriosis remain unknown and treatments are limited to either surgery or the use of hormonal drugs. Dr Krina Zondervan studies genetic, molecular and environmental factors influencing this complex disorder.
Obesity and Genetics
Dr Cecilia Lindgren explores the links between obesity and genetics. Obesity and its consequences are major and growing challenges for health care providers worldwide. While lifestyle is a contributor, over 30 genes associated with body mass index have also been identified. Dr Cecilia Lindgren uses genetic and genomic approaches to better understand the underlying mechanisms and pathways involved in the regulation of overall energy balance, to establish improved therapies and preventive measures.
Genetic Variation in Inflammation and Immunity
Dr Julian Knight explains how genetic variants modulate gene expression and influence the susceptibility to commom diseases. Genetic variation plays an important role in individual susceptibility to common diseases. Dr Julian Knight's research focuses on how genetic variation between individuals affects the way immune and inflammatory genes are expressed. This helps understand genetic susceptibility to common conditions such as infectious, inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, leading to more targeted and effective treatments for patients. Dr Knight recently published a book titled 'Human Genetic Diversity, functional consequences for health and disease'.