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Courtney Hanna

Post-doctoral Research Scientist


Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 496528

Research Interests

Research summary

The maternal and paternal copies of the genome are both required for mammalian development; this is primarily due to imprinted genes, those that are mono-allelically expressed based on parent-of-origin. Typically, this pattern of expression is regulated by differentially methylated regions (DMRs) that are established in the germline. Imprinted genes are essential for placental development and there are several examples of placental-specific imprinting. It has been suggested that placental-specific imprinting is not regulated by germline DMRs. The objectives of my current work are to develop a genome-wide approach to identify novel imprinted DMRs in the placenta and investigate the dynamics of imprinted DMRs during early human development in somatic and extra-embryonic tissues.  DNA methylation will be evaluated using publically available data for early human embryos and gametes and measured in human triploid, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester chorionic villi, isolated placental cell types, and fetal tissues using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 array.

 

Funding MRC-funded position

Key Publications

Hanna CW, McFadden DE, Robinson WP. Changes in placental DNA methylation may be associated with karyotypically normal miscarriage. American Journal of Pathology.2013;182(6):2276-84.

Hanna CW, Bretherick KL, Liu CC, Stephenson MD, Robinson WP. Genetic variation in the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis in women with recurrent miscarriage. Human Reproduction. 2010;25(10):2664-71. 

Hanna CW*, Bretherick KL*, Gair JL, Fluker MR, Stephenson MD, Robinson WP. Telomere length and reproductive aging. Human Reproduction. 2009;24(5):1206-11. *These authors contributed equally to this work.