The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK
Jon’s research career started in non-coding RNA biology, with PhD work in the Monckton / O’Dell labs at Glasgow University followed by a post doc in David Tollervey’s group at the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology in Edinburgh. He set up his independent research group at the Babraham Institute in 2009 studying the connections between gene expression and genome change. Jon is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow.
We study the mechanisms by which cells adapt to new environments. A major focus is the possibility that cells may change parts of their genomes in response to particular environments. The ability to stimulate mutation at the right time and place would allow organisms to evolve and adapt much faster than we might expect, and such mechanisms have clear medical importance. My group primarily works on copy number variation (CNV), which is rife in eukaryote genomes and imparts much of the genetic diversity in populations. CNV causes genetic diseases and has been implicated by genome-wide association studies in a plethora of common disorders. CNV is generally thought to occur at random, however I will describe our recent work revealing mechanisms by which CNV can be stimulated by cells in response to their environment. These mechanisms allow CNV events to be focused and accelerated to enhance adaptation.
Host: Dr Ryan Hull and Vicent Pelechano
Read more about Jon Houseley´research
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