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


Email: a.oguro-ando@exeter.ac.uk

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.

PhD studentship opportunity:


http://FindAPhD.com: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/the-influence-of-jakmip1-a-key-risk-gene-for-autism-on-neural-circuit-function-phd-in-medical-studies-mrc-gw4-biomed-dtp/?p112213

Jonathan Mill

Jon Mill PhotoGroup Leader
Professor of Epigenetics – University of Exeter

+44(0)1392-406779 (Exeter)

Jonathan Mill is Professor of Epigenetics at the University of Exeter Medical School. He graduated with a degree in Human Sciences from Oxford University, where he took a particular interest in cannibalism, before undertaking his PhD in Psychiatric Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry. After spending three years as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, he returned to the Institute of Psychiatry to establish the Psychiatric Epigenetics group in the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre.

Katie Lunnon

Katie Lunnon Photo

Katie Lunnon

Associate Professor

E-mail: k.lunnon@exeter.ac.uk

Tel: +44(0)1392-406758

Katie is an Associate Professor in Epigenetics at the University of Exeter Medical School, with a particular interest in dementia. She started her lectureship in June 2013, was fast tracked to Senior Lecturer in September 2015 and then Associate Professor in April 2017. She currently hold >£1 million in grant funding as PI.

Katie graduated with a first class degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Southampton. Katie has spent her research career investigating genomic and molecular pathology in dementia. She spent four years working in the Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, where she identified novel blood biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Subsequently she joined the Complex Disease Epigenetics Group to investigate the role of epigenetic mechanisms in dementia. She has published 50 articles and has an H-index of 23 and an i10-index of 30. She was recently awarded the Alzheimer’s Research UK Young Investigator of the Year award in 2017, which is awarded to the most outstanding early career researcher in the field of biomedical dementia research in an international competition for researchers with less than 10 years postdoctoral experience.

Katie leads the Neurodegeneration and Dementia Research Theme within the Complex Disease Epigenetics group. She currently supervises two post doctoral research fellows (Rebecca Smith and Ehsan Pishva), with funds for a further two fellows to join the group next year. She also currently supervises three PhD students as first supervisor (Adam Smith, Jennifer Imm and Janou Roubroeks) with funds for a further PhD student to be appointed shortly. Katie also supervises one MRes student as first supervisor (Leighton Tam) and is a co-supervisor to three PhD students (Isabel Castanho, Szi Kay Leung, Anna Duckworth).

Chloe Wong

Chloe Wong


Tel: +44(0)2078480888

Chloe Wong is a Lecturer of Epigenetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience’s MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London. She received a PhD in Epigenetics from King’s College London in 2012 and has been appointed as a Lecturer of Epigenetics since June 2013. Chloe’s main research interest lies primary in psychiatric epigenetics, with a particular focus on neurodevelopmental behaviors and disorders such as severe psychosocial stress exposure and autism. She has extensive experience in cutting-edge epigenetic profiling approaches and bioinformatics analyses. In addition to research, Chloe also plays an active role in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and have a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP; King’s College London 2014). She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Genetics module leader for MSc Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry and MSc Genes Environment and Development. Please click here to see Chloe’s CV.