Brief CV


I am Head of Bioinformatics and Professor of Computational Biology at the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM), one of the largest UK MRC research establishments supporting approximately 500 scientists. My group provides computational collaborative expertise to IGMM experimental research groups, from large biomedical sequencing projects (such as the Scottish Genomes Partnership) to integrative systems analysis of cells, organs and organisms.

I am also a MRC research programme leader at the MRC Human Genetics Unit (HGU), studying medical and regulatory genomics with three broad aims. 1. To reveal new functional interactions between chromatin structure and transcriptional activity. 2. To understand the roles of chromatin structure and mutational bias during regulatory evolution. 3. To explore disrupted gene regulation in developmental disorders and cancers.

I am a committee member of the Genetics Society, and a member of the EpiGeneSys network of excellence, as well as various funding body referee panels and editorial boards.

Present position:

Head of Bioinformatics, MRC IGMM; MRC HGU Programme Leader; Professor of Computational Biology

University of Edinburgh, UK


I run a laboratory carrying out novel research in computational genomics and human disease. Our research activites span genomics, transcriptomics and epigenomics and can be broadly classed as regulatory genomics. We are particularly interested in the evolution of gene regulation in the human genome and the implications for human disease. In addition I head the institute Bioinformatics Service providing education, advice and collaborative expertise to all existing unit research programs.

Postdoctoral work:

Staff Bioinformaticist

MRC Human Genetics Unit, UK


Collaborative sequence analysis developing custom solutions for a wide variety of groups involved in everything from yeast cell biology to human genetic disease susceptibility.

EU funded postdoctoral research fellow

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


Investigation of the extent and patterns of gene duplication and gene conversion in the first releases of whole genome sequence data from C. elegans.

NIH funded postdoctoral research fellow

University of Michigan, USA


Empirical investigations of the evolution and maintenance of polymorphisms spontaneously arising in large, monoclonal microbial populations.

Thesis work:

PhD in population genetics

University of Edinburgh, UK


Experiments examining mechanisms underlying the maintenance of genetic variation for fitness using large populations of D. melanogaster and computer simulation.