Clare Davis

Clare Davis is a third year BSc Medical Sciences (Neuroscience) student at the University of Exeter. She is now currently on her Professional Training Year, where she will be assisting with Dr. Asami Ogoro-Ando and Dr. John Chilton’s research. Her project is titled “Defining the molecular actions of JAKMIP1, a neuronal translation regulator, identified as a candidate gene for autism”.

Madie Eve

Madie Eve has just completed her second year at the University of Exeter studying Medical Sciences. She is hoping to use this year of research to understand more about the neuropathology associated with Autism in Dr Asami Oguro-Ando’s laboratory as a PTY student.

Hedley Baulf

Hedley Baulf is a 3rd Year BSc Medical Sciences student at the University of Exeter, studying all modules relevant to a specialisation in Human Genomics. He is currently undertaking his professional training year under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Mill in a project titled ‘The Epigenetic Basis of Human Disease’.

Radhika Kandaswamy

radhika photo
I am delighted to be part of Dr Chloe Wong’s team at the SGDP centre. I completed my PhD at UCL in the Department of Molecular Psychiatry under the supervision of Professor Hugh Gurling. During this time I worked on the molecular genetics of bipolar disorder and resequenced two glutamate receptor genes, GRM3 and GRM7. I then went on to functionally characterise a Kozak sequence mutation in GRM3.

Following my PhD, I worked as a Postdoctoral training fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton where I worked with Professor Richard Houlston on characterising susceptibility genes for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I also had the opportunity to learn chromosome conformation capture techniques such as Hi-C, 4C and 3C and study the long-range interactions between loci regulating the transcriptome.

At the SGDP, I will be working on the E-Risk study, assessing the impact of psychosocial stress during adolescence on the DNA methylome of MZ twins. I am really excited about this opportunity and happy to be working with a wonderful team.

Leighton Tam

I Leighton Tam photograduated with a BSc in Biosciences from the University of Exeter in 2016, with my final year project being a comparative study on conservation of critical MMR proteins between human immune cells and eukaryotic parasites. This initial experience awoke my appreciation of the capabilities of bioinformatic analysis/research tool in uncovering the genetic/epigenetic factors behind genetic disorders, with particular interest in neurodegenerative diseases. Subsequently, I joined the University’s Complex Disease Epigenetics Group in order to carry out a MSc by Research in Medical Studies. Currently, I am working on a project to survey changes in APOE methylation in a varied population, observing if it is a product of general aging or unique factors in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

My hobbies include bird-watching, and I have previously participated in falcon behavioral studies. I also enjoy swimming, playing the violin and piano, and singing.

Janou Roubroeks

janou-photo-idJanou is a PhD student at the University of Exeter, under the supervision of Dr Katie Lunnon (University of Exeter), Dr Daniel van den Hove (Maastricht University, the Netherlands), and Dr Liz Coulthard (University of Bristol). Prior to starting a PhD at Exeter, she obtained a BSc in Psychology and completed a two-year MSc in Fundamental Neuroscience at Maastricht University, where she had a particular interest in the epigenetics of Alzheimer’s disease. Her PhD project, for which she was granted a GW4 BioMed MRC DTP studentship, focuses on identifying novel blood biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. During her PhD she will integrate genome-wide genetic, epigenetic and gene expression measures in blood from Alzheimer’s disease patients with detailed clinical, epidemiological and neuroimaging data with the aim to identify unique biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease.

Sam Washer

Picture By Jim Wileman -

Picture By Jim Wileman –

Sam is a PhD student at the University of Exeter under the supervision of Dr Emma Dempster, Dr Aaron Jeffries and Prof Jonathan Mill. He graduated with a with a First Class degree in BSc Medical Science from the University of Exeter in 2016. During which he undertook a year in research examining the functional genetics of cardiovascular development at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, under the supervision of Dr Bill Chaudhry and Prof Deborah Henderson. Sam has a particular interest in functional genetics and neuroscience, which were the focus of his dissertation and now his PhD. His PhD entitled “Using functional epigenomics to dissect the molecular architecture of schizophrenia” will examine how small epigenetic changes impact cellular function at a molecular level and cause Schizophrenia.

Ehsan Pishva

ehsan-photo_webpageResearch Fellow

Ehsan Pishva is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School. He obtained his Medical Degree in 2007 in Iran. He practiced for 2 years as a physician in a neonatal intensive care unit. In 2011, he moved to the Netherlands and started his PhD under the supervision of Professor Jim van Os, Dr. Bart Rutten, and Dr. Gunter Kenis at the department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University. His research interest focuses on the modulation of gene-environment interactions through DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in mental health and illness. He completed his 4-year PhD in 2015 when he was awarded the “Kootstra-Talent fellowship Programme for future postdocs” from Maastricht University Medical Center for one year. Since July 2016, he joined the “Complex Disease Epigenetics Group” working on the EPI-AD project investigating the links between stress, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Stefania Policicchio

stephania-photo-jpegPhD Student

Stefania undertook her undergraduate degree in in Biological Sciences (First Class Honours) at the University of Calabria, Italy in 2013. She completed a two-year MSc in Neurobiology at University of Pavia, Italy (First Class Honours, 2013-2015) during which she investigated the variation in gene expression and in Amyloid beta aggregation after treatment with curcuma-derived compounds in Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Subsequently she was granted a postgraduate Erasmus studentship to train in statistical genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London (KCL) from November 2015 and September 2016. Under the supervision of Professor John Powell and Dr Petroula Proitsi she used statistical and bioinformatics approaches to investigate the association of blood metabolites with AD and she explored the causal relationship between AD and Rheumatoid Arthritis using Mendelian Randomization approaches.
She is currently undertaking her PhD under the supervision of Dr Therese Murphy, Dr Emma Dempster and Prof Jonathan Mill. Her project focuses on integrating cell-type specific epigenomic and small RNA transcriptomics to comprehensively investigate molecular variation in post-mortem brains of mental disorder patients compared to non-psychiatric controls.

Asami Oguro-Ando


Dr Asami Oguro-Ando



Phone: 01392 40 8258 (Office)

Asami Oguro-Ando has been a Lecturer in the Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Exeter Medical School since 2016. She received a PhD from University of Tokyo, Japan in 2008. As she was finishing her PhD thesis, Neuropsychiatric disorders were fascinating to her that there were many genes characterised and few animal models established, but still, it is unclear. She was exhilarated by the potential for growth in the field. She spent four years at Prof. Daniel Geschwind lab in UCLA (USA) for her first postdoc, next three years at Prof. Peter Burbach lab in UMC Utrecht (The Netherlands) for her second postdoc to develop her specificities of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research. Her research aim is to further our understanding of the molecules, cells and circuits that underlie neurodevelopmental disorders including ASD is critical for developing more effective therapies for these disorders.

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