Genome Science at the University of Leicester
Genome Science is one of nine research themes within the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology. It reflects a breadth of internationally recognised research excellence covering the study of the organisation, function, dynamics and evolution of genes and genomes.
The University of Leicester is perhaps best known for the world-changing discovery in 1984, by Sir Alec Jeffreys, of DNA fingerprinting in the Department of Genetics. Since that time the study of Genome Science has expanded to encompass over 60 academic members of staff spread across 9 Departments. The uniting thread for this diverse community of researchers is DNA - the molecular code for all living things that places genetics and the study of genes and genomes at the heart of biology and medicine.
Theme members are also linked by the fundamental processes they study, and the techniques they use. The theme will strengthen these links, fostering collaborative research and allowing members to consider broader research questions and larger-scale funding calls. It also aims to identify and build upon strengths in particular areas, and to improve the synergy between fundamental and translational research.
The universality of DNA is reflected in the wide variety of species studied by theme members, from viruses, bacteria, yeasts and plants, to fruit-flies and other insects, marine invertebrates, fish, mice and humans. These include model organisms underpinned by high-quality ‘omics resources, as well as natural populations. There is also great diversity in the diseases under study, including infection, cancer, monogenic disorders, and complex multifactorial diseases and traits.
Research within the theme is organized into four interconnected sub-themes:
• Genome Diversity and Dynamics - Fundamental mechanisms of mutation and recombination and their outcomes for genetic diversity from bacteria to humans;
• Genes in Health and Disease - Roles of genes and genomes in monogenic, complex and infectious disease, and in maintenance of non-disease states;
• Genome Function - Epigenetic regulation, transcription, splicing and translation of genes;
• Evolutionary and Behavioural Genetics - The interaction of genes and genomes with neutral and selective processes including complex behaviours in humans, model organisms and natural populations.
All of these sub-themes interface with other themes within the College, and most members of the Genome Science Theme are also members of other themes, emphasising the central nature of genetics and genomics in modern biological and medical research.
The theme is closely linked to the Leicester Institute of Genetics and Genome Sciences (LIGGS), founded as the Institute of Genetics in 2002, and a dynamic forum for workshops, seminars and research days.
Use the links on this page to find information on subthemes, seminars, workshops, research facilities, and how to become affiliated to the Genome Science theme.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Mark Jobling
Department of Genetics, University of Leicester
Tel. 0116 252 3427