Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Anthony Isles

Dr Anthony Isles

Reader, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences

Yr Ysgol Meddygaeth

Email:
islesar1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2068 8467
Location:
2.49, Adeilad Hadyn Ellis, Heol Maendy, Caerdydd, CF24 4HQ
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Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig

I am a molecular and behavioural neuroscientist interested in the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to brain and behaviour. In particular, we are investigating an intriguing family of genes, the imprinted genes, which are subject to epigenetic control acquired during development resulting in expression from one parental copy (allele) only. The research is focused on addressing what these imprinted genes are doing in the brain and how they may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders.

Education and qualifications

  • 2000: PhD (Zoology) University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • 1994: BSc Zoology & Genetics, University of Sheffield, UK

Career overview

  • 2006 - present: Professor, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  • 2003 - 2008 Beebe Ttrust Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • 1999 - 2003 Post-doctoral researcher, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK
  • 1994 - 1995 ESF Trainee technician, Department of Genetics, Leicester University, UK

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

  • 2014 - present: Deputy-Director of the Wellcome Trust Integrative Neuroscience PhD programme
  • 2015 - present: Neuroscience and Mental Health themelead, GW4 MRC BioMed doctoral training programme

External Committes

  • 2014 - present: Publications Secretary, British Association of Neuroscience

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I am a lecturer and tutor on the intercalated Psychology module "Scientific Basis o Psychological Medicine" (ME3085). I am also a lecturer on final year Psychology module "Behavioural Genetics" (PS3210).

I also give a Case 12 second year lecture on "Neural controlof appetite: the example of PWS"

My group is interested in the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to brain and behaviour. In particular, we are investigating an intriguing family of genes, the imprinted genes, which are subject to epigenetic control acquired during development resulting in expression from one parental copy (allele) only. The research is focused on addressing what these imprinted genes are doing in the brain and how they may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders. We are also interested in whether imprinted genes expressed in the brain are affected by the maternal environment (e.g. diet). Similarly, more recent research in collaboration with Dr Rosalind John (Cardiff University) is investigating whether changes in the placental expression of imprinted genes can influence both maternal behaviour and later offspring outcomes. Finally, we are also involved in work characterising the role epigenetic processes more generally in neurodevelopment and the aetiology of neuropsychiatric illness.

Our work requires a multi-disciplinary approach in order to examine aspects of behaviour, neurobiology and molecular genetics. We primarily examine behavioural phenotypes in rodent models and use molecular techniques for addressing gene expression and epigenetic regulation of the genome (histone modification and DNA methylation).

Current research project areas

  • Imprinted genes, brain and behaviour
  • Coordination of placenta, maternal brain, and offspring outcomes
  • Neurodevelopmental role of the histone methyltransferase Ehmt1/Glp
  • Developmental and functional role of Setd1a in the brain

Research Funding

Biolotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, project grant - "Ensuring quality maternal care in an adverse environment"

Medical Research Council, project grant - "Investigating a plecntal origin for pregnancy andpostpartum mood disorder"

Wellcome Trust, Integrative Neuroscience PhD - "The role of imprinted Grb10 in brain and behaviour"

Ewan Maclean Studentship/Waterloo Foundation, PhD studentship - "Placental function, maternal mood and long term consequences for offspring neurodevelopment"

It is essential that scientists try to explain their research field to lay audiences, and indeed that, where possible, our research is informed by our interactions with the general public. I regularly undertake engagement activities and have spoken at events such as Pint of Science, the Cardiff Philosophy Cafe, and the MRC Centenary celebrations at BayArt.

In addtion, I have discussed my research with parents and carers of individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome, and recorded podcasts for Nature and the Biochemical Society explaining my research. Our work has also been feature in news articles in the Smithsonian, Scientific American and even the Daily Mail.

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