Dr. Anthony R Isles
Based at the Behavioural Genetic Group, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Medicine, and School of Psychology
Epigenetics, imprinted genes, impulsive and risk-taking behaviour, appetite and motivation, evolution
Research Interests and Facilities
Imprinted genes are subject to parent-of-origin specific epigenetics marking and silencing, resulting in expression from one parental copy of the gene only. A long term research interest of my group has been to examine the functional role imprinted genes in the brain with the aim of understanding why they have evolved at all. Within this context we currently have projects examining the role of imprinted genes in social and risk-taking behaviours, and feeding behaviour and psychiatric disease in Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). My group is also involved in a number of projects examining how events throughout life are encoded at a molecular level in the brain. The first, which links back to the main theme of my research, explores the role of imprinted Cdkn1c in mediating the effects of maternal dietary stress on dopamine function in the offspring brain. Other projects do not involve genomic imprinting per se, but are focused on the general influence on epigenetic modification in regulating habit-formation; and the post-transcriptional modification of the serotonin 2C receptor RNA in response to social isolation and other stressors.
Our group uses a wide range of molecular and behavioral neuroscience techniques applied to animal models. We have access to genetics facilities and labs within the IPMCN and also extensive, well-provided suites of laboratories for behavioural analysis within the School of Psychology.
Available PhD Projects
- Environmentally mediated changes in post-transcriptional modification of 5HT2CR.
- The role of the placenta in post-natal mood disorder.
- Imprinted genes and social behaviour.
- Garfield et al. (2011). Distinct physiological and behavioural functions for parental alleles of imprinted Grb10. Nature 469:534-538
- Ingason A et al. (2011). Maternally derived microduplications at 15q11-q13: implication of imprinted genes in psychotic illness. American Journal of Psychiatry 168: 408-417.
- Doe C et al. (2009) Loss of the imprinted snoRNA mbii-52 leads to increased 5htr2c editing and altered 5HT2CR mediated behaviour. Human Molecular Genetics 18:2140-48.
- Plagge A et al. (2005) Imprinted Nesp55 influences behavioral reactivity to novel environments. Molecular Cellular Biology 25: 3019-26.