Jennifer Meadows research group

Genetic dissection of autoinflammatory disease and sudden cardiac death

The long-term research goal is to indentify the genes and molecular variants that underpin traits of importance to both the health and well-being of companion animals. Paired with this is a comparative genetics aspect, where through international collaborative efforts, research findings are translated to aid human patients with orthologous disease sets.

Our current projects leverage knowledge gained from studying the purebred form of the domestic dog. The dog represents an excellent model organism for human comparative analyses since they share roughly the same gene set, develop spontaneous disease with similar aetiologies and generally share the same environment. The true benefit to using purebred dogs lies in the exploitation of the genetic structure honed through selection bottlenecks, where long within breed haplotypes and the enrichment of genetic risk factors mean that the trait mapping of heterogenous diseases can be investigated with both fewer markers and fewer individuals than is possible for human genetics.

The two main projects investigate the molecular genetics of canine and human forms of autoinflammatory disease (AID). These diseases are characterised as unprovoked episodes of inflammation associated with abnormal regulation of innate immunity (i.e. absence of high-titre autoantibodies or antigen-specific T cells).

The two main projects investigate the molecular genetics of (1) autoinflammatory disease (AID), characterised as unprovoked episodes of inflammation with no underlying infectious cause and (2) sudden cardiac death, as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Strong candidate loci have been identified from each of these projects and targeted genome sequencing in both canine and human patient cohorts is currently underway.

Research funding is provided by the Swedish Research Council, FORMAS.

Employees (faculty, staff and other members)

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