Evolution, Reproduction and Genome Organization (ERGO)

Understanding the molecular basis of fertility, congenital malformation, cancer and evolution arising from genomic rearrangement and instability

The multidisciplinary group studies genome organisation with a focus on evolution, reproduction and cancer. Practical applications include improving fertility in humans and domestic animals, novel diagnostics and reconstructing genome assemblies from a range of living and extinct species.

Genome organisation relates to how changes in the structure of the genome control how cells and organisms function. In ERGO we study all aspects of genome organisation including:

1. Chromosomal rearrangements that affect fertility in humans and farm animals
2. The origins of genetic disease through chromosomal instability during reproduction
3. The regulation of gene transcription and DNA repair within the nucleus
4. Genome instability in cancerous cells
5. The slow transformation of genome structure during evolution that leads to speciation

Research is enhanced by interdisciplinary interactions facilitated by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction that facilitates greater public engagement and impact. The group has received funding from BBSRC, Innovate UK, MRC, STFC, Cancer Research UK, The Royal Society, The Leverhulme Trust, Breast Cancer Kent and works with a range of industrial partners including the London Women’s Clinic, JSR Genetics, ActivET, Topigs Norsvin, Genus, iGenomix, Oxford Gene Technology and Digital Scientific UK. In the last 8 years it has raised around £5 million in funding.

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