Department of Functional and Comparative Genomics

Scientists in our Department apply genomic data to comparative analysis between species and systems to understand functions and interactions.

The Department hosts a diverse group of researchers working in plant, animal, and microbial systems.

Our research

We cover a wide range of research, including:

  • Understanding the effects of methylation in crop plants
  • Mechanisms of pathogenicity in microbial infections
  • Identification human genes involved in ageing
  • The evolution of endosymbiont genomes in insects


We have published many large genomic and proteomic studies. These include the first publications of the wheat, tsetse fly and bowhead whalegenomes.


We apply comparative techniques to physiological studies, including discovery of how the gut senses dietary sugar.


Our researchers use functional genomics to understand pathogenic mechanisms of Salmonella and Staphylococcus. We also study host‐microbe symbioses.

Plant sciences

The plant scientists are interested in molecular processes and regulation of photosynthetic mechanisms and circadian rhythms. We have a major research program on engineering CAM photosynthesis into C3 plants, and have published extensively on the genetic regulation of the plant circadian clock.

Working with us

We provide a environment for close mentoring for people interested in working in genetics, systems biology, and comparative analysis in animals plants and microbes. We have state of the art facilities in Genomic sequencing technology and expression analysis as well as synthetic biology (Link to GeneMill) and high performance computing. We have a BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership with the University of Newcastle and Durham University which provides diverse training opportunities for graduate students.

We collaborate extensively with research groups across the Institute, in other Institutes and beyond Liverpool, both nationally and internationally.

Head of Department

Prof Mark Caddick 

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