Professor Lorna Harries
Associate Professor in Molecular Genetics
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Skills Development Fellowship Vision
A successful skills development fellowship would allow the fellow to develop valuable skills in all aspects of academic life. I would expect the fellow to work fairly autonomously, developing a specific niche or research strand, but also to take advantage of existing skill sets within the university to expand their comfort zone and learn new skills. Independence needs to be encouraged, whilst still being supported and mentored in aspects of academia that are perhaps not so easily acquired.
This includes management skills, outreach and public engagement skills, financial and budgetary skills as well as softer skills for stress and uncertainty management and maintaining a good work life balance. I would expect a successful fellow to make both multidisciplinary and truly interdisciplinary collaborations, both nationally and internationally. I would encourage measured, rather than exponential growth of the fellow’s associated research team, to allow the fellow to have chance to learn and put into practice wider team management skills without undue pressure.
I have a BSc and a PhD in Genetics from University College London. I have been at Exeter since 2001, where I initially held both research and clinical science posts. In 2006 I was awarded an RCUK fellowship which allowed me to establish my independent group. I secured a lectureship in 2010, a senior lectureship in 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014.
My research interest lies in molecular and cellular assessment of regulation of gene expression, particularly as it relates to the inter and extracellular environment. My group use a variety of -omics and cell biology approaches from large scale, big data molecular epidemiology and bioinformatics, to detailed small scale dissection of the action of specific genes or regulators at the molecular and cellular level. These tools have very wide applicability, and can be applied to many research topics.
- Lee BP, Pilling LC, Emond F, Flurkey K, Harrison DE, Yuan R, Peters LL, Kuchel GA, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, Harries LW. Changes in the expression of splicing factor transcripts and variations in alternative splicing are associated with lifespan in mice and humans. Aging Cell 2016 Oct;15(5):903-13.
- Recommended for the Faculty of 1000 Locke JM, Hysenaj G, Wood AR, Weedon MN, Harries LW. Targeted allelic expression profiling in human islets identifies cis-regulatory effects for multiple variants identified by type 2 diabetes genome-wide association studies. Diabetes. 2015 Apr;64(4):1484-91.
- Lorna W. Harries, Dena Hernandez, William Henley, Andrew Wood, Alice C. Holly, Rachel M. Bradley-Smith, Hanieh Yaghootkar, Ambarish Dutta, Anna Murray, Timothy M. Frayling, Jack M. Guralnik, Stefania Bandinelli, Andrew Singleton, Luigi Ferrucci and David Melzer. Human aging is characterized by focused changes in gene expression and deregulation of alternative splicing. Aging Cell. 2011 Oct; 10(5):868-78.
Ongoing Projects & Grants
- Small molecule moderation of splicing factor expression for reversal of cellular senescence
- Functional analysis of GWAS hits
- circRNAs as novel regulators of gene expression
- Determinants of beta cell fate in diabetes
David Melzer, Seb Oltean, Matt Whiteman, Andrew Hattersley, Sian Ellard, Tim Frayling, Michael Weedon, Jon Mill, Ryan Ames, Tamara Galloway, Noel Morgan, Sarah Richardson, Katarina Kos
- Richard Faragher (Cell senescence, Brighton)
- Elizabeth Ostler (Synthetic Chemistry, Brighton)
- Guy Rutter (Beta cell Biology, Imperial College London)
- David Elliott (Transcriptomics, Newcastle University)
- Colin Selman (Biogerontology, Glasgow)
- The Jackson Laboratory (Animal models of disease, Nathan Shock Center, USA)
- Ari Meerson (Post transcriptional regulation of gene expression, Israel)
- George Kuchel (Gerontology, Uconn, USA)
- Luigi Ferrucci (Biogerontology, NIA, USA)
- Shelley Buffenstein (Calico, USA)
- Holly Brown Borg (Biogerontology, University North Dakota, USA)
Research Group Connections