Dr Jenny Taylor
|Research Area:||Genetics and Genomics|
|Technology Exchange:||Bioinformatics, Chromosome mapping and SNP typing|
|Keywords:||Translation, Genetics, clinical practice, genomics technologies and Oxford Biomedical Research Centre|
Understanding how changes in genes cause disease is a fundamental objective of researchers at institutes such as the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. However, before doctors can use this information for the benefit of patients, further work is required. We need to understand if the research discoveries are indeed useful for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions and we need to explore how new technologies can be adapted for routine use in the NHS. Genetics research most frequently results in new genetic tests for diagnosis of various conditions, but it can also change the way in which doctors treat disease or to the development of new pharmaceutical drugs.
The Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Genetics Theme, which is funded by the UK’s Department of Health, aims to bridge this gap between genetics research communities and doctors and healthcare professionals in the NHS. It is part of a broader programme being conducted by the Oxford BRC covering many disease areas including heart disease, cancer, stroke. The Genetics Theme focuses in particular on developing new technologies for the NHS. These include methods for sequencing the human genome. Although on the horizon, the cost of sequencing an individual’s complete DNA sequence is currently too high but the prospect of reading sections of it which we know relate to specific diseases is real – and may help us to diagnose and treat these diseases more effectively. We are also interested in new technologies that enable us to tell whether people have subtle changes to their DNA (mutations) or the amount present (copy number changes).
Our programme currently involves projects in heart disease, leukaemia, cancer, brain malformations and neurodegenerative conditions. We frequently seek participants for our studies. One active area of recruitment is for our brain malformations study.
There are no collaborations listed for this principal investigator.
Recurrent 15q13.3 microdeletions were recently identified with identical proximal (BP4) and distal (BP5) breakpoints and associated with mild to moderate mental retardation and epilepsy. Hide abstract
Autism and mental retardation (MR) show high rates of comorbidity and potentially share genetic risk factors. In this study, a rare approximately 2 Mb microdeletion involving chromosome band 15q13.3 was detected in a multiplex autism family. This genomic loss lies between distal break points of the Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome locus and was first described in association with MR and epilepsy. Together with recent studies that have also implicated this genomic imbalance in schizophrenia, our data indicate that this CNV shows considerable phenotypic variability. Further studies should aim to characterise the precise phenotypic range of this CNV and may lead to the discovery of genetic or environmental modifiers. Hide abstract
Genomic disorders are often caused by non-allelic homologous recombination between segmental duplications. Chromosome 16 is especially rich in a chromosome-specific low copy repeat, termed LCR16. Hide abstract
The chromosome 17q21.31 microdeletion syndrome is a novel genomic disorder that has originally been identified using high resolution genome analyses in patients with unexplained mental retardation. Hide abstract
Clin Dysmorphol, 17 (3), pp. 211-213. | Read more2008. Potocki-Lupski syndrome mimicking a connective tissue disorder.
We report a recurrent microdeletion syndrome causing mental retardation, epilepsy and variable facial and digital dysmorphisms. We describe nine affected individuals, including six probands: two with de novo deletions, two who inherited the deletion from an affected parent and two with unknown inheritance. The proximal breakpoint of the largest deletion is contiguous with breakpoint 3 (BP3) of the Prader-Willi and Angelman syndrome region, extending 3.95 Mb distally to BP5. A smaller 1.5-Mb deletion has a proximal breakpoint within the larger deletion (BP4) and shares the same distal BP5. This recurrent 1.5-Mb deletion contains six genes, including a candidate gene for epilepsy (CHRNA7) that is probably responsible for the observed seizure phenotype. The BP4-BP5 region undergoes frequent inversion, suggesting a possible link between this inversion polymorphism and recurrent deletion. The frequency of these microdeletions in mental retardation cases is approximately 0.3% (6/2,082 tested), a prevalence comparable to that of Williams, Angelman and Prader-Willi syndromes. Hide abstract