Professor Jonathan Mill
Professor of Epigenetics
Neuroscience and Neurology
University of Exeter Medical School
Skills Development Fellowship Vision
A successful Skills Development Fellowship would provide a stepping-stone for the candidate to transition to research independence learning new techniques and approaches that can be used to leverage their existing skill-set. If embedded within our group the candidate would receive specialist training in genomics, bioinformatics, or molecular biology, working with a network of international collaborators and extensive data/sample resources using cutting-edge approaches and facilities. Our role will be to facilitate the candidate to pursue their own questions within the framework of our existing research themes and ongoing projects. Our work is – by definition – highly collaborative and interdisciplinary.
It is important we train a cohort of researchers who can fully embrace such an approach, developing specific skills in key areas but integrating these with other approaches and methods. We are a dynamic team of lab- and informatics-focussed researchers, and postdocs/students in our group are encouraged to develop new approaches to tackle our overarching goal of understanding the molecular basis of health and disease in the brain. The candidate would collaborate with mathematicians, clinicians, geneticists, neuroscientists, computational biologists and epidemiologists; we work with groups around the world and are involved in many large international consortia.
I graduated with a degree in Human Sciences from Oxford University, where I took a particular interest in cannibalism, before undertaking my PhD in Psychiatric Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. After spending three years as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, I returned to the Institute of Psychiatry to establish the Psychiatric Epigenetics group in the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre in 2007. I joined the University of Exeter Medical School in 2012 as Professor of Epigenetics where I head the Complex Disease Epigenomics Group.
My group studies the role of regulatory genomic variation in complex disease, with a particular emphasis on neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders (including schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and depression).
Current areas of research include:
- regulatory genomic profiling in post-mortem brain tissue;
- investigating the role of epigenetic variation in mediating the onset of neuropathology in cellular/rodent models;
- describing dynamic genomic processes in human brain development and aging;
- exploring interactions between the epigenome, environment and DNA sequence variation, with the aim of undertaking an integrated genetic-epigenetic approach to disease.
We use cutting edge laboratory, computational and bioinformatic approaches to understand the causes and consequences of molecular variation in the brain. More information on our work can be found at www.epigenomicslab.com.
- Hannon E, Weedon M, Bray N, O’Donovan M, Mill J. Pleiotropic Effects of Trait-Associated Genetic Variation on DNA Methylation: Utility for Refining GWAS Loci. Am J Hum Genet. 2017 Jun 1;100(6):954-959
- Spiers H, Hannon E, Schalkwyk L, Smith R, Wong C, O’Donovan M, Bray N, Mill J. Methylomic trajectories across human fetal brain development. Genome Research. 2015 Mar;25(3):338-52.
- Lunnon K, Smith R, Hannon E, De Jager PL, Srivastava G, Volta M, Troakes C, Al-Sarraj S, Burrage J, Macdonald R, Condliffe D, Harries LW, Katsel P, Haroutunian V, Kaminsky Z, Joachim C, Powell J, Lovestone S, Bennett DA, Schalkwyk LC, Mill J. Methylomic profiling implicates cortical deregulation of ANK1 in Alzheimer’s disease. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Sep;17(9):1164-70.
- Hannon E, Spiers H, Viana J, Pidsley R, Burrage J, Murphy TM, Troakes C, Turecki G, O’Donovan MC, Schalkwyk LC, Bray NJ, Mill J. Methylation QTLs in the developing brain and their enrichment in schizophrenia risk loci. Nat Neurosci. 2016 Jan;19(1):48-54
Ongoing Projects & Grants
- MRC: October 2017 – October 2020. Regulatory genomic profiling in schizophrenia. Total Award: £996,423.37
- Alzheimer’s Society: September 2017 – September 2020. Regulatory genomic consequences of polygenic risk burden for Alzheimer’s disease. Total Award: £100,000
- MRC Clinical Research Infrastructure Grant: April 2015 – April 2020. Accelerated discovery of functional non-coding genomic variation using single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing. Total Award: £1,586,940.
- ESRC: 1st September 2016 – 31st August 2018. Creating a genome wide methylation resource in Understanding Society. Total Award: £247,500.00
- Alzheimer’s Society: 31st August 2015 – 28th February 2018. The contribution of epigenetic phenomena to Alzheimer’s disease: an integrated genetic-epigenetic analysis. Total Award: £201,732.00
- Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Neurodevelopment trajectories of DNA hydroxymethylation and schizophrenia. Total Award: $100,000
I have multiple international collaborations (including active research projects with UCLA, Maastricht, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Karolinska Institute, Portland Oregon, University of Queensland, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Dublin and Harvard (plus others!)). We are involved in four large EU projects (MATRICS, EPI_AD, EMIF-AD, STRENGTH) that has numerous international partners, leading one of the work-packages in MATRICS. We help coordinate the Genetics of DNA Methylation consortium (www.godmc.org.uk) and are part of the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Consortium and the PsychENCODE Consortium.
Research Group Connections