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Professor Lawrence Wilkinson

Professor Lawrence Wilkinson

Scientific Director, Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute.

Email:
wilkinsonl@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0) 29 2068 8461
Location:
Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ

Lawrence Wilkinson is Professor of Behavioural Genetics, a position he holds jointly in Cardiff University's Schools ofMedicine and Psychology.

Professor Wilkinson's research activities are focused on how genetic and epigenetic mechanisms influence the way the brain functions. He works closely with colleagues within the Behavioural Genetics Group (BGG) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics in Cardiff and with academic and industrial colleagues nationally and internationally.

Professor Wilkinson and his colleagues in the BGG bring to the Research Institute particular expertise in pre-clinical genetic models, with a strong emphasis on moving findings from pre-clinical models into a better understanding of mental and neurological illness in people.

Working alongside colleagues from the School of Psychology and the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Professor Wilkinson's current research focuses on: epigenetic effects on brain and behaviour; sex chromosome effects on behaviour and risk for mental disorder; the functional relevance of risk genes for schizophrenia and; familial forms of dementia.

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My research focus is on the rapidly evolving field of behavioural genetics/epigenetics, with an emphasis on cognition. Current main research interests include work on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; gene variants influencing attention and impulsive responding; novel X-linked effects on behaviour; and genomic imprinting effects on cognition and behaviour.

Recent key findings includes evidence that tau irregularities in AD may be linked to abnormal processing of APP C-terminal fragments via specific effects on MAPK activation, evidence for tauopathy effects on frontal functioning mediated by changes in serotonin neurochemistry, new autosomal and X-linked genetic mechanisms influencing fear, attention and impulsive behaviour and the discovery of X-linked imprinted gene effects on cognitive function.