We have an integrated research program to improve our understanding of the aetiology and pathophysiology of multifactorial CNS disorders to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy utilizing the latest development in genomic analysis. We aim to understand how nature and nurture combine to shape the individual and our well being and how the environment; psychological, physiological, chemical, pathogen and age alter that balance resulting in clinical symptoms.
There is an increasing awareness that in many diseases that the non-coding DNA that houses the genes themselves are important in health and disease and for the latter their progression and severity. These genomic structures determine how, where and when genes are expressed. Alterations in that regulation lead to disease. In that regard the polymorphic variation in the non-coding DNA is important in both predicting predisposition to a disease or response to drug or other environment challenge. We aim to focus on the mechanisms of this gene regulation in health and disease; this will include miRNA, epigenetic and transcriptome functional studies overlaid on the polymorphic variation observed.
Our group’s main focus will be genetic response to distinct environmental challenges and their impact on the progression and severity of disease. There are active collaborations in 1) Psychiatry with the Institute of Psychiatry in London, where Quinn is an associate member of the MRC Social Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) group; 2) Ageing with the University of Manchester DNA bank for cognitive genetic studies 3) Pain with the Walton Centre in Liverpool; 4) Motor Neurone Disease with KCl and Sheffield; 5) Parkinson's Disease with NIH in Bethesda (US) and University of Tartu, Estonia.