Pioneering schizophrenia research is happening in Exeter

Pioneering research work in Exeter into how and why schizophrenia develops will continue following a grant of more than £1m.

Scientists have long known that schizophrenia, which usually becomes evident during adolescence or in young adulthood, has its origins in the brain before birth.

A research team at the University of Exeter Medical School will use cutting-edge DNA sequencing technology funded by a previous Medical Research Council grant to explore patterns of gene activity in the brain as it grows and develops, and the role that changes in these patterns play in schizophrenia.

To read more visit Devon Live!

Methylome, sweet methylome

After the Human Genome Project revealed that humans had roughly the same number of genes as a fruit fly, attention rapidly refocused on gene regulation, with the realisation that control of gene expression was a key factor in human biology (and disease). In particular, work on epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones has exploded in popularity. Based at Exeter and King’s College London, Jonathan Mill is examining modifications to DNA – particularly cytosine methylation – in the human brain, and the potential consequences it could have for both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

Read the full BNA article here

Exeter scientist wins prestigious dementia prize

University of Exeter researcher Dr Katie Lunnon has won the Early Career Investigator of the Year Award at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2017. The prestigious prize celebrates excellence in dementia research and comes with £25,000 for Dr Lunnon to spend on her cutting-edge research in a field of biology called epigenetics.

To find out more visit the University of Exeter website

Or watch a video interview with her here

Exeter Researchers Take On 350 Mile Cycle Challenge To Defeat Dementia

A team of six passionate dementia researchers from the University of Exeter are uniting against dementia and cycling 350 miles from London to Paris in a bid to raise £12,000 for the charity Alzheimer’s Society.

The team will embark on their challenge on 19 July this year with a view to arriving in Paris, and crossing the Tour de France finish on the Champs D’Elysee, four days later.

To read more visit The Exeter Daily!



Dementia Researchers Raise Thousands For Alzheimer’s Society In Epic Bike Challenge

Five dementia researchers at the University of Exeter have pedalled over an epic 350 miles from London to Paris, raising thousands of pounds for Alzheimer’s Society in a gruelling four day challenge.

The team has raised more than £11,000 towards their £12,000 target to boost the Society’s ground-breaking dementia research, and they still hope to achieve their goal. To donate, visit their Justgiving page.

Read the full article here!


Scientist Focus: Katie Lunnon

University of Exeter researcher, Dr Katie Lunnon has won the Early Career Investigator of the Year Award at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2017. The prestigious prize celebrates excellence in dementia research and comes with £25k for Dr Lunnon to spend on her cutting-edge research.

Katie studies the relatively new field of epigenetics – a biological process that can switch genes on or off, potentially influencing the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
We caught up with Katie to talk about her research and her role as a member of our Grant Review Board, where she helps to recommend the most promising research projects for Alzheimer’s Research UK to fund.

To read the full interview with Katie, visit Alzheimer’s Research UK

The interview was subsequently reported by the University of Exeter

Soapbox Science – Meet Isabel Castanho

Isabel Castanho is an Azorean PhD student in the University of Exeter Medical School, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society. Her current research is focused in understanding the association between epigenetics (the mechanisms that control how our genes are turned “on” and “off”) and the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

As a Neuroscientist, she is amazed by the brain and is always keen to share her excitement. Come meet Isabel on her Soapbox, June 11th in Exeter (Princesshay Square, Exeter City Centre), where she will be talking about the human brain, how it works, and how you can make it stay “young”!

Visit Soapbox Science for more information.

Or check out an interview with Isabel as part of the University’s Researcher in focus series here

Care and Cure Magazine – Spring 2017: Interpreting Our Genes

Isabel Castanho, a second-year PhD student at the University of Exeter Medical School explains how her research focuses on a gap in our understanding of how genes contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Follow the link here to find out more!

Professor Jonathan Mill – Causes and Consequences Of Molecular Variation In The Brain

Professor Jonathan Mill describes research into the causes and consequences of molecular variation in the brain and the role this plays in disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, and also in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Illumina Inc – Integrating Genomic Data to Enhance Neurobiology Discovery

Hear how Jonathan Mill, PhD, group leader of the complex disease epigenetics group at the University of Exeter Medical School, is using genetic information to study the causes of molecular variation in the brain. By profiling genomic changes across critical periods of brain development, Mill and his team of researchers are leading the way toward a better understanding of neuropsychiatric diseases like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and more.