Buchanan Chair of Genetics
University of Edinburgh
Will be presenting virtually
Adrian Bird has held the Buchanan Chair of Genetics at the University of Edinburgh since 1990. He graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex and obtained his PhD at Edinburgh University. Following postdoctoral experience at the Universities of Yale and Zurich, he joined the Medical Research Council’s Mammalian Genome Unit in Edinburgh. In 1987 he moved to Vienna to become a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Molecular Pathology. Following his return to Edinburgh he was founding Director of the Centre for Cell biology (1999-2011), a governor of the Wellcome Trust and subsequently a trustee of Cancer Research UK. Adrian Bird’s research focuses on the basic biology of DNA methylation and other epigenetic processes. He identified CpG islands as gene markers in the vertebrate genome and discovered proteins that read the DNA methylation signal to influence chromatin structure and gene expression. Mutations in one of these proteins, MeCP2, cause the severe neurological disorder Rett Syndrome. Dr Bird’s laboratory established the first mouse model of this condition and showed that the severe neurological phenotype is reversible, raising the possibility that Rett syndrome can be cured.
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