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Personal profile

Research interests

Main research areas:

Intragenic CpG islands and imprinted retrogenes as models to study gene expression

Epigenetic factors in heart valve development

Epigenetic mechansisms in cancer including pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas


DNA carries heritable information and genes guide development to adulthood. Epigenetic factors influence gene expression through modifications to DNA. We are interested in studying epigenetic factors genomewide in order to understand mechanisms of gene regulation. A class of genes known as imprinted genes provide an excellent model system for studying epigenetic mechanisms. These genes are expressed in a parent of origin specific way, in other words one parental allele is active and one is silenced in the same cell. The group has used bioinformatics tools for the analysis of genomic sequence and epigenetic features genomewide to identify a group of genes known as imprinted retrogenes. We have shown using these model loci that intragenic promoters and epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation can direct alternative mRNA processing including alternative polyadenylation. This has implications for transcriptome diversity and tissue specific gene regulation.

We are delineating epigenetic regulators in the developing heart, particulalry in endocardial cell specification that distinguish this cell population from other somatic endothelial cells genomewide. Identifying factors that specifiy heart valves will inform on developmental defects as well as regenerative strategies.

We also work on cancer epigenetics and tumour metabolism in neuroendocrine cancers. We are investigating pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas using genomic and epigenomic methodologies to study the epigenome. We are also developing computational methods to predict metastasis in these rare inherited tumours.

For details of post-doctoral and PhD student lab members working on these projects please click on our personal web page link:


Research interests (short)



Epigenetics; polyadenylation; imprinting; bioinformatics;transcriptomics, epigenomics; human imprinted diseases; endocardial cells and valve development; epigenomics of cancer, host epigenetics in infection

Biographical details

Dean for Doctoral Studies, King's College London, Jan 2018-Dec 2022

Biographical details

GSTT Boimedical Research Centre Training Lead 2018-2022

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The structure of alphoid satellite DNA on normal and abnormal human Y chromosomes, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jan 1989

Bachelor of Science, UWE Bristol

Award Date: 1 Jan 1986

External positions

Policy Officer, Genetics Society

Apr 2018Mar 2022

VP External Relations, Genetics Society



  • QH426 Genetics
  • Epigenetics
  • Imprinting
  • Polyadenylation
  • Bioinformatics
  • Genomics
  • Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas
  • DNA methylation


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