We are primarily interested in understanding how the genome functions and to leverage this to develop novel genome editing based cellular therapies
Our expertise is in:
In higher eukaryotes many genes are controlled by regulatory elements called enhancers, which are often located hundreds of thousands of base pairs distant from the gene. Enhancers contain small sequences (~10bp) which bind transcription factors and these make physical contact with the proteins at the promoter to activate gene expression. Until recently, we have had limited ability to define the detail of physical contacts that control genes below 1kb resolution. We have recently developed a new method (Micro Capture-C) to define genome architecture in unprecedented detail (down to base pair resolution). We are using the new technique to study the fundamental mechanisms of gene regulation and to define how variation in genome sequence links to human disease.
The lab also has expertise in cutting edge genome editing technology. James Davies is a haematologist with a specialist interest in bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapy. At present, we are working with industry to bring genome editing approaches we have developed for treating thalassaemia and sickle cell disease into the clinic.
A lot of the high throughput sequencing based assays we develop are challenging to analyse and we often have to write completely novel software pipelines to analyse the data.