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Lucy Davison

Functional Genomics, Autoimmunity, Small Animal Medicine

In my research, I am very keen to understand the relationship between genotype and phenotype in both humans and veterinary species. My current research aims to improve our understanding of the genetic basis of complex diseases such as type 1 diabetes by trying to unravel the mechanisms by which individual genes affect risk of disease.  I am currently working on the 16p13.13 region in humans, which affects risk of many autoimmune conditions including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and primary biliary sclerosis. I use a combination of techniques including global gene expression analyses, recombinant protein expression and purification, functional assessment of cells after overexpression and CRISPR-CAs9 knockout of genes in vitro and in vivo, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and chromosome conformation capture. By understanding the function of the genes in the 16p13.13  region and their role in affecting risk of type 1 diabetes , we have the potential to reveal novel pathways for preventative or  therapeutic  intervention in autoimmune disease.

GFP
Fluorescence microscopy for evaluation of sub-cellular localisation of proteins

As a Specialist in Small Animal Medicine, I also spend a proportion of my time working in the Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, teaching students and working with our residents and interns. My particular interests are canine endocrinology and immunology. I also enjoy undertaking clinical research projects with a focus on canine diabetes, as well as the use of next-generation sequencing technologies in clinical problem-solving.

Key Publications

Google Scholar - list of all publications

Davison LJ : Pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus: cause or effect? Journal of Small Animal Practice (2015) Jan;56(1):50-9. 

Breed-specific hematological phenotypes in the dog: a natural resource for the genetic dissection of hematological parameters in a mammalian species Lawrence J, Chang Y-M, Szladovits B, Davison LJ* and Garden OA* PLoS One 2013 (*equal contribution)

Proteome-wide analysis of disease-associated SNPs that show allele-specific transcription factor binding.Butter F, Davison L , Viturawong T, Scheibe M, Vermeulen M, Todd, JA and Mann M.  PLoS Genet 2012 8(9): e1002982.

Gene Expression and Long-range DNA looping Analyses Identify DEXI as an autoimmune disease candidate gene. Davison LJ, Wallace C, Cooper JD, Cope NF, Wilson NK, Smyth DJ, Howson JMM, Saleh N, Al-Jeffery A, Angus KL, Stevens HE, Nutland S, Duley S, Coulson RMR, Walker NM, Burren OS, Rice CM, Cambien F, Zeller T, Munzel T, Lackner T, Blankenberg S, Gutenberg Heart Study, Cardiogenics, Fraser P, Gottgens B and Todd JA. Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Jan 15;21(2):322-33.

Canine diabetes mellitus: can old dogs teach us new tricks? Catchpole B, Ristic JM, Fleeman LM, Davison LJ. Diabetologia 2005 Oct;48(10):1948-1956.

Dr Lucy Davison

University Lecturer in Genetics and Small Animal Medicine

ljd13@cam.ac.uk

 

    Plain English

    Autoimmune disease occurs when a person's immune system attacks the body's own healthy tissues and destroys them. The incidence of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes (T1D), multiple sclerosis (MS), primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is increasing at an alarming rate.  My work focuses on understanding the genes involved in autoimmunity, with a particular focus on a region of human Chromosome 16 which appears to be important in disease risk.

    As a Specialist vet in Small Animal Medicine, I also enjoy seeing and treating clinical cases. Linked with this, I particularly enjoy undertaking clinic-based research to understand the genetics of diseases such as diabetes in dogs.

    Funding

    Wellcome Trust

    Diabetes UK

    ECVIM Clinical Studies Fund

    Lucy is available for consultancy.