DISSECT has been developed within Albert Tenesa’s group placed in Genetics and Genomics division of The Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh). The people involved in its development are Oriol Canela-Xandri and Albert Tenesa.
Complex traits are determined by the interaction of genes and the environment. Understanding how genes shape the observed phenotypic variation is relevant for animal breeders, evolutionary biologists and human geneticists. This knowledge will help us to understand who we are, help to improve our quality of life through healthier ageing and reduction of disease burden, and aid us in developing better and more sustainably food sources that can feed an increasing population world-wide.
Our research aims to understand how genes influence the wide range of normal and pathological variation observed in animal and human populations, to develop the methodological tools required to do so and to combine genetic and environmental factors to build prediction models of disease risk and continuous variation levels.
Identifying the loci that explain phenotypic variation is the first essential step to understand the functional contribution of genetic variation to the phenotype. We use genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify loci that contribute to quantitative and binary traits (e.g. age related cognitive decline, colorectal cancer and Parkinson’s disease).
Understanding the multiple tiers of gene regulation that link the phenotype and the genotype requires generating relevant data (e.g. gene expression and methylation data from relevant cells and tissues) and developing innovative analytical approaches to model such data. We are developing methods to understand the contribution of long and short range regulatory elements in controlling global levels of gene expression and methylation
Comparative mapping across species also helps us to understand how phenotypic variation is explained by genetic variation. Once new loci have been identified in one species, their replication in the orthologous regions of other species provides further functional support.
More information: http://www.roslin.ed.ac.uk/albert-tenesa/