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Melissa

Research Fellow

My research background has focused on the biophysics/ signalling pathways of in vivo and in vitro disease models. In the Hickey group, I am looking to develop a strategy that will enable efficient integration of genotype and phenotypic data to identify causal variants underlying phenotypic variation. The Hickey lab has used large scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to catalogue multiple loci with major impacts on commercially favourable traits in livestock. Although these data strongly implicate the causative gene for the QTL, definitively implicating specific causal variants remains difficult.
My project aims to develop a high-throughput in vitro CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing platform. This screen will be used in conjunction with cell-based phenotypic assays to interrogate existing genomic data and identify causal
variants driving natural phenotypic variation in livestock.

Employment History

2015-2017. Researcher

MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh

Gene editing in mouse models of inherited retinal degeneration dystrophy

2008-2014 Research Assistant Professor
UMASS Medical School, USA
Biophysics and signalling processes of motor cilia (mammalian systems and Chlamydomonas)
2001-2007 Postdoctoral Fellow
UMASS Medial School, USA
Biophysics of signalling pathways in mammalian fertilization
1997-2000 PhD
CSIRO, Australia/Manaaki Whenua, NZ
Thesis: Endocrinology and physiology in marsupials
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