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Personal profile

Research interests

My main interests are to understand:

(i) how fetal growth is regulated such that a body of correct size and proportions is attained

(ii) how altered fetal growth can influence health in later life, including predisposition to cancer, obesity and diabetes.

These are big questions, relevant to important medical problems. Our approach has been to focus on a small group of genes regulated by genomic imprinting. Imprinted genes behave unusually in that they are expressed predominantly, if not exclusively, from only one of their two parental copies. Although only about 100 imprinted genes are known, a large proportion of them regulate fetal growth and/or adult physiology, with others influencing brain function and behaviour.

The Grb10 gene is expressed from the maternally-inherited copy in most fetal tissues outside of the central nervous system and we have shown that it acts to inhibit growth of both the embryo and placenta. In adult life the maternally-inherited Grb10 allele regulates insulin receptor signalling and body fat deposition and can, therefore, directly influence energy homeostasis. Recently, we found that in the brain Grb10 is expressed mainly from the paternal allele and we have discovered that this brain expression is linked with the control of social dominance behaviour. By gaining a deeper understanding of the different functions of Grb10 we aim to understand why this and other imprinted genes have evolved.

Current lab members

  • Xiao Hu
  • Kim Moorwood
  • Sasi Saminathan 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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  • Imprinted Gene Expression and Function of the Dopa Decarboxylase Gene in the Developing Heart

    Prickett, A. R., Montibus, B., Barkas, N., Amante, S. M., Franco, M. M., Cowley, M., Puszyk, W., Shannon, M. F., Irving, M. D., Madon-Simon, M., Ward, A., Schulz, R., Baldwin, H. S. & Oakey, R. J., 22 Jun 2021, In: Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 9, 676543.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • Detailed analysis of paternal knockout Grb10 mice suggests effects on stability of social behavior, rather than social dominance

    Rienecker, K. D. A., Chavasse, A. T., Moorwood, K., Ward, A. & Isles, A. R., 1 Jan 2020, In: Genes, Brain and Behavior. 19, 1, e12571.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    File
    6 Citations (SciVal)
    24 Downloads (Pure)
  • Mice lacking paternal expression of imprinted Grb10 are risk-takers

    Dent, C. L., Rienecker, K. D. A., Ward, A., Wilkins, J. F., Humby, T. & Isles, A. R., 30 Sep 2020, In: Genes, Brain and Behavior. 19, 7, e12679.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • Impulsive choice in mice lacking paternal expression of Grb10 suggests intragenomic conflict in behavior

    Dent, C. L., Humby, T., Lewis, K., Ward, A., Fischer-Colbrie, R., Wilkinson, L. S., Wilkins, J. F. & Isles, A. R., 1 May 2018, In: Genetics. 209, 1, p. 233-239 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    9 Citations (SciVal)
  • Assessing the carcinogenic potential of low-dose exposures to chemical mixtures in the environment: the challenge ahead

    Goodson, W. H., Lowe, L., Carpenter, D. O., Gilbertson, M., Manaf Ali, A., Lopez de Cerain Salsamendi, A., Lasfar, A., Carnero, A., Azqueta, A., Amedei, A., Charles, A. K., Collins, A. R., Ward, A., Salzberg, A. C., Colacci, A., Olsen, A-K., Berg, A., Barclay, B. J., Zhou, B. P., Blanco-Aparicio, C. & 153 others, Baglole, C. J., Dong, C., Mondello, C., Hsu, C-W., Naus, C. C., Yedjou, C., Curran, C. S., Laird, D. W., Koch, D. C., Carlin, D. J., Felsher, D. W., Roy, D., Brown, D. G., Ratovitski, E., Ryan, E. P., Corsini, E., Rojas, E., Moon, E-Y., Laconi, E., Marongiu, F., Al-Mulla, F., Chiaradonna, F., Darroudi, F., Martin, F. L., Van Schooten, F. J., Goldberg, G. S., Wagemaker, G., Nangami, G. N., Calaf, G. M., Williams, G., Wolf, G. T., Koppen, G., Brunborg, G., Lyerly, H. K., Krishnan, H., Ab Hamid, H., Yasaei, H., Sone, H., Kondoh, H., Salem, H. K., Hsu, H-Y., Park, H. H., Koturbash, I., Miousse, I. R., Scovassi, A. I., Klaunig, J. E., Vondráček, J., Raju, J., Roman, J., Wise, J. P., Whitfield, J. R., Woodrick, J., Christopher, J. A., Ochieng, J., Martinez-Leal, J. F., Weisz, J., Kravchenko, J., Sun, J., Prudhomme, K. R., Narayanan, K. B., Cohen-Solal, K. A., Moorwood, K., Gonzalez, L., Soucek, L., Jian, L., D'Abronzo, L. S., Lin, L-T., Li, L., Gulliver, L., McCawley, L. J., Memeo, L., Vermeulen, L., Leyns, L., Zhang, L., Valverde, M., Khatami, M., Romano, M. F., Chapellier, M., Williams, M. A., Wade, M., Manjili, M. H., Lleonart, M. E., Xia, M., Gonzalez, M. J., Karamouzis, M. V., Kirsch-Volders, M., Vaccari, M., Kuemmerle, N. B., Singh, N., Cruickshanks, N., Kleinstreuer, N., van Larebeke, N., Ahmed, N., Ogunkua, O., Krishnakumar, P. K., Vadgama, P., Marignani, P. A., Ghosh, P. M., Ostrosky-Wegman, P., Thompson, P. A., Dent, P., Heneberg, P., Darbre, P., Sing Leung, P., Nangia-Makker, P., Cheng, Q. S., Robey, R. B., Al-Temaimi, R., Roy, R., Andrade-Vieira, R., Sinha, R. K., Mehta, R., Vento, R., Di Fiore, R., Ponce-Cusi, R., Dornetshuber-Fleiss, R., Nahta, R., Castellino, R. C., Palorini, R., Abd Hamid, R., Langie, S. A. S., Eltom, S. E., Brooks, S. A., Ryeom, S., Wise, S. S., Bay, S. N., Harris, S. A., Papagerakis, S., Romano, S., Pavanello, S., Eriksson, S., Forte, S., Casey, S. C., Luanpitpong, S., Lee, T-J., Otsuki, T., Chen, T., Massfelder, T., Sanderson, T., Guarnieri, T., Hultman, T., Dormoy, V., Odero-Marah, V., Sabbisetti, V., Maguer-Satta, V., Rathmell, W. K., Engström, W., Decker, W. K., Bisson, W. H., Rojanasakul, Y., Luqmani, Y., Chen, Z. & Hu, Z., Jun 2015, In: Carcinogenesis. 36 Suppl 1, p. S254-S296

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    161 Citations (SciVal)