Role of long noncoding RNAs in neurological disorders

Research Overview

Mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are often debilitating conditions with strong genetic components and many sites in our DNA have been identified that confer risk or protection to them. Lagging behind the identification of risk loci is an understanding of which genes are involved and how changes in their expression and splicing can confer disease risk.

We are using cutting edge technologies such as long-read Nanopore sequencing to investigate risk gene expression in stem-cell derived neurons and human brain to understand how they confer disease risk. We recently pioneered this approach using Nanopore sequencing to examine the risk gene CACNA1C in human brain.

This information will be critical to translate genetic findings into a better understanding of disease pathology and identify potential treatment targets for these disorders.


Professor Paul Harrison, University of Oxford, UK

A/ Professor Elizabeth Tunbridge, University of Oxford, UK

Dr Wilfried Haerty, Earlham Institute, UK

Professor Daniel Weinberger, Lieber Institute for Brain Development, USA

Selected Publications

Clark MB*, Wrzesinski T*, García-Bea A, Kleinman JE, Hyde T, Weinberger DR, Haerty W, Tunbridge EM. Long-read sequencing reveals the splicing profile of the calcium channel gene CACNA1C in human brain. Biorxiv 5th Feb 2018 doi:10.1101/260562 (* Joint first authors).

Research program

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