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Lifetime studies

Our research programmes span an entire lifetime, from the intricate mechanisms that occur in the earliest stages of embryonic development to the underlying causes of diseases of ageing. We have seven research programmes focused on lifetime studies that investigate the genetics and functional genomics underlying development and disease.

Disease model discovery

We established and manage the Harwell Ageing Screen, a unique large-scale project to study the genetics of ageing and age-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Neurobehavioural genetics

We investigate the genetic basis of mammalian behaviour to improve our understanding of how the central nervous system functions in circadian rhythms, sleep and psychiatric disease.


We identify new genetic pathways involved in neurodegeneration using mouse models of relevant diseases. In particular, we focus on genes involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

Genetics and pathobiology of deafness

It is estimated that over 250 million people worldwide suffer moderate to profound hearing loss, of which half have a genetic basis. We study the genetics that underlie the process of hearing to advance our knowledge of deafness and improve treatments.

Disorders of sex development

We are investigating embryonic gonad development and abnormalities of this process that cause disease. We mainly study 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis, in which XY individuals develop as females, by investigating the underlying genetics of this condition.


Cilia, development and disease

Cilia are important in a wide range of processes, including development. We are interested in what happens when cilia malfunction and the impact this has on both embryonic development and adult disease.

Genetics of type II diabetes

Over three million people in the UK are diagnosed with diabetes, a figure set to rise, and around 90% of these cases have type 2 diabetes. We identify and investigate genes involved in this condition in order to improve treatments.