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Editor biographies

E. Elizabeth Patton (Editor-in-Chief)

Liz Patton is a Professor and MRC Investigator at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK. Prof. Patton received a BSc Honours degree from King’s College at Dalhousie University, and a PhD from the University of Toronto, working with Mike Tyers to discover how E3 ubiquitin ligases control cell division. Following this, Liz received a Human Frontier Science Programme Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Len Zon at Harvard Medical School, where she developed a zebrafish model for melanoma. Her lab uses chemical genetic approaches in zebrafish to investigate the basis for melanoma biology and drug discovery.

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Areas of expertise: melanocyte development, neural crest, melanoma (skin cancer), chemical genetics approaches, zebrafish.

Elaine R. Mardis (Deputy Editor-in-Chief)

Elaine Mardis graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in zoology and completed her PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1989, also at Oklahoma. Dr. Mardis was a senior research scientist for four years at BioRad Laboratories. She joined the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in 1993, served as Co-director of the McDonnell Genome Institute since 2002, and was named the Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine in 2014. In September 2016, she became the co-Executive Director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Her research interests focus on the application of next-generation sequencing to characterize cancer genomes and transcriptomes, and to support therapeutic decision-making. Her translational research efforts devise sequencing-based diagnostics, decision-support tools and databases, and the use of genomics to design personalized cancer vaccines.

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Areas of expertise: cancer genomics, immunogenomics, transcriptomes, leukemia, next-generation sequencing, whole-genome sequencing in clinic, mouse models of human cancer, cancer cell line encylopedia screening, complex human disease models such as diabetes.

Monitoring Editors

Steven J. Clapcote

Steve Clapcote is a lecturer in Pharmacology in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leeds, UK. His research uses mouse and human molecular genetics to investigate mechanisms of human neurological diseases, with the aim of identifying new targets for therapeutic intervention. One recent aspect of the group’s work is to look at the function of the Na+,K+-ATPase alpha3 subunit, which has been implicated in a wide range of neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. He has acted as a reviewer for PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, Molecular Psychiatry, and Human Molecular Genetics.

Areas of expertise: mouse genetics, mouse behaviour, disorders of the CNS (neurological, psychiatric, neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative and movement disorders).

Tatsushi Igaki

Tatsushi Igaki is a Professor of the Graduate School of Biostudies at Kyoto University, Japan. His research uses Drosophila genetics to understand the cell-cell communications that govern tissue growth and homeostasis. In particular, his group focuses on the molecular basis of epithelial cell-cell cooperation and competition during normal development and cancer.

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Areas of expertise: Drosophila, cancer, cell competition, cell death, cell-cell communication, senescence.

Monica J. Justice

Monica Justice is Program Head and Senior Scientist at SickKids (The Hospital for Sick Children) in Toronto. Her research aims to merge mouse modeling with clinical genetics to understand the basis for many human diseases, and to use these mouse models to ameliorate disease states.

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Areas of expertise: mouse models of disease, defects in vasculogenesis and hematopoiesis, lymphoid leukemias and lymphomas, Rett syndrome, forward genetics, sequencing.

Rickie Patani

Professor Rickie Patani obtained his BSc (in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience) and MBBS from Imperial College London in 2004. He gained MRCP in 2007 and a PhD in human stem cell neurobiology from Cambridge University in 2011, funded by a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship. While completing his higher clinical training in neurology, he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist Fellowship and started his research group at UCL in 2013. Rickie gained MRCP (Neurology) in 2015 and was appointed Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square in 2017. Rickie's lab moved to the Francis Crick Institute in 2017, where they continue to work primarily on human induced pluripotent stem cell models of neurodegeneration, with particular focus on the themes of RNA metabolism and cellular autonomy. In 2018, Rickie was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and secured an MRC Senior Clinical Fellowship.

Areas of expertise: human induced pluripotent stem cell models of disease, neurodegeneration biology, neuropathology, motor neuron disease (ALS), RNA metabolism, astrocyte biology.

Owen Sansom

Owen Sansom is Deputy Director of the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, UK. His lab investigates two types of epithelial tumor, colorectal and pancreatic cancers, which are the second and fifth most common causes of cancer death worldwide, respectively. Recent sequencing studies have highlighted the common mutational drivers of these cancers and the focus of Dr Sansom’s group is to model these within the mouse to identify novel markers of the disease, as well as targets for therapy. Over the past five years, his work has defined potential new therapeutic targets for colorectal cancers lacking Apc and for resectable pancreatic cancer. Dr Sansom is on the advisory board of the MRC Unit of Toxicology in Leicester, UK and serves on the CRUK Discovery committee.

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Areas of expertise: epithelial cancers, pancreatic, colorectal, mouse models, APC tumor suppressor, intestinal cancer.

David M. Tobin

David Tobin works in the Departments of Molecular Genetics, and Microbiology and Immunology at the Duke University School of Medicine. His research focuses largely on tuberculosis, innate immunity, mycobacterial pathogenesis and the host response to mycobacterial infection. Using a zebrafish model, his laboratory has identified new host susceptibility loci for mycobacterial infection and has translated these findings into human cohorts. Dr Tobin is an editorial board member on PLoS ONE.

Areas of expertise: zebrafish, genetics, immunology, microbiology, virology.


Associate Editors

Ross Cagan

Ross Cagan is Regius Professor of Personalized Medicine at the University of Glasgow and the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre. Previously working in developmental biology at Washington University School of Medicine and more recently at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr Cagan’s group currently uses Drosophila to develop and explore therapies for cancer and for rare genetic disease.

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Areas of expertise: Drosophila, cancer, diabetes, eye development, retina, drug screening, apoptosis.

Sally Dunwoodie

Sally Dunwoodie leads the Embryology Laboratory and the Congenital Heart Disease Research Program at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (Sydney). She is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University for New South Wales. Her research focuses on understanding developmental mechanisms that drive mammalian embryogenesis and on identifying disruptive genetic and environmental factors. With an emphasis on heart and vertebral formation, her research combines patient genome sequencing with mouse models of congenital malformation and study of the impact of gestational stresses such as hypoxia and nutrition. She obtained her PhD at the University of Sydney and undertook postdoctoral training at the National Institute for Medical Research (London).

Areas of expertise: Mouse, congenital malformation, gene-environment interaction, gestational stress, hypoxia, nutrition.

Monkol Lek

Monkol Lek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at the Yale University School of Medicine. His research is focused on the genetics of rare diseases, including identifying causal genes/variants, disease mechanisms and gene editing.

Areas of expertise: human genetics, genomics, rare disease genetics, computational biology.

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