Genetics, Genomics and Development


The study of gene regulation, disease and the genetics of organisms and populations is revolutionising the research fields of development, reproduction, biotechnology and medicine.

Different Rice Variations - Photo International Rice Research Institute

Population and Quantitative Genetics

The Population and Quantitative Genetics Group investigate the causes and consequences of genetic variation in natural populations. A broad range of statistical techniques such as Genome-Wide Association and Genomic Selection methods are used to explore the pattern and effect of molecular variation at the whole genome level. Biological models of interest include humans, plants and insects with an emphasis on biological questions related to human health and agriculture.

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Reproduction and Development

The Reproduction and Development Groups study the very beginnings of life and factors that influence the growth and health of the embryo, foetus and offspring.

Basic and biomedical research of mammalian systems focuses on the genetics and molecular control of early embryo development, sexual differentiation, environmental disruptors of development, stem cell biology, comparative genomics and reproductive physiology.

Reproduction is the science of the transmission of life!

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Tammar wallaby embryo superimposed over bilaminar yolk sac

Developmental and Cellular Genetics

The living cell possesses extraordinary capabilities that allow it to sense and respond to its environment, metabolise nutrients required for growth and division and undergo changes in cell shape and function. All of these processes are under the control of the hereditary instructions or genes it expresses, from among the thousands in its genome.

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Microbial Genetics

Microbes are both vital and problematic. Without them our world couldn’t exist, but some cause us monumental grief. Understanding microbes helps us manage our environment, stay healthy and look after our crops, livestock and food supplies. Genetic tools have given us powerful means to understand these invisible organisms that impact our lives in myriad ways.

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Insect Genetics

Many researchers within the School of BioSciences employ genetics to understand insect biology. Their motivations vary widely. Some are interested in controlling pest insects that threaten agriculture or vector disease. Some are interested in studying the evolution of various aspects of the most diverse group of animals on the planet. Others are attracted to the model insect Drosophila melanogaster because it has unparalleled genetic tools, resources, and knowledge bases that can inform fundamental biology that in turn helps us understand human disease. Some are using insects to measure the health of the environment.

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Plant and Crop Genetics

Plants are not only a vital part of the global environment but also of significant economic value to society. They provide us with breathable air, food, fuel, clothes, medicine and shelter, as well as numerous ecosystem services required for a healthy planet. Studying plants is therefore of fundamental importance, not only because they are fascinating in their own right, but because insights into their biology underpin crop improvement programs. We use genetics and genomics to learn about the molecular basis of important traits in model and crop plants and their evolutionary significance.

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Pregnant woman

Cardiovascular Physiology

The Cardiovascular Physiology Group studies how blood vessels are damaged in cardiovascular disease and investigates new treatments for vascular dysfunction. Diseases of interest include; acute heart failure, hypertension in pregnancy and diabetes.

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