Researchers in our group are currently involved with a number of different research lines, some of which are highlighted below. To find out more about our current work, please get in touch with Dr Clyde Francks.
Genetics of brain asymmetry
In this research line, which overlaps with the Cognomics programme, we analyse magnetic resonance images to measure anatomical or functional asymmetries in the brain, and carry out genome-wide analyses to identify genetic variants that affect these asymmetries. This work was featured in the Max Planck Forschung magazine (in German). We increasingly make use of the UK Biobank brain image and genetic data for these studies, together with other datasets.
Dr Francks is the coordinating principal investigator on a transnational grant (€750,000) - 'MULTI-LATERAL: Multi-level Integrative Analysis of Brain Lateralization for Language' - linked to the European Commission's Flagship Human Brain Project. For more information, visit the Human Brain Project website.
Gene expression within the cortical language network
In this research line we relate gene expression data from post mortem adult brain tissue to functional brain imaging maps obtained from other datasets. This approach can reveal patterns of gene activity which support the functions of cerebral cortical regions especially important for language. Our first report from this project is here.
Dr Francks leads the workgroup on brain laterality within the ENIGMA consortium, a network of neuroscientists and geneticists from around the world who cooperate to study data from tens of thousands of people. Dr Francks talks about ENIGMA in this video.The Laterality group has published studies of brain asymmetry in healthy people and psychiatric disorders.