Gene Networks in Multiple Sclerosis

Gene Networks in Multiple Sclerosis

Title of Project

Gene Networks in Multiple Sclerosis

Name of Advisor/s

Dr Margaret Jordan, Professor Alan Baxter

College

College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Sciences

Summary of Project

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease resulting from a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. In an attempt to understand the integration of both sets of risk factors, we have compared mRNA transcripts between relapsing/remitting (RR) MS patients and healthy controls in 5 leukocyte subsets. A gene co-expression network was generated based on correlation of expression levels across >700 gene expression microarrays, and a module of mRNA transcripts that are differentially expressed in the monocytes of patients was identified. This project validates, characterizes and attempts to manipulate this transcriptional module in human cells ex-vivo and in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of central nervous system autoimmunity.

Key Words

Autoimmunity, Cellular immunology, Immunogenetics, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Mouse models, Genetics, Co-expression Networks.

Would suit an applicant who

Has experience with molecular biology techniques (such as DNA/RNA hybridization, in situ hybridization, polymerase chain reaction) and/or tissue culture techniques and is familiar with statistical analyses and/or bioinformatics.