Sam Washer

Picture By Jim Wileman -

Picture By Jim Wileman –

Sam was a PhD Student in the group between September 2016 and March 2020. His research, under the supervision of Dr Emma Dempster, Dr Aaron Jeffries, and Prof Jonathan Mill was to design and develop cellular based assays for modelling genetic and epigenetic risks of schizophrenia.During his PhD he developed several CRISPR based assays for modelling disease risk in cell models. The first was for editing the genome of cells lines targeting known risk genes of schizophrenia, this method is now used by multiple researchers within the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences. The second was a CRISPR assay to edit DNA methylation at specific sites to functionally establish the link between DNA methylation and gene expression in cell models. Other assays include a luciferase assay for measuring gene promotor activity following in vitro methylation, and the effect of the cannabinoid THC on DNA methylation.Sam is now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute (Cellular Operations: Gene Editing and Cellular Research and Development) and the University of Oxford (James Martin Stem Cell Facility/Target Discovery Institute). He aims to develop pooled genetic CRISPR screens in iPSC derived microglia to examine their role in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.