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Dr Dagan Jenkins
UCL Institute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street
London
WC1N 1EH
Appointment
  • Lecturer
  • ICH Genetics & Genomic Medicine Prog
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Biography
2013 - present Lecturer in Molecular Medicine, UCL Institute of Child Health
2013 - 2016 MRC New Investigator Award
2010 - 2013 Post-doc, UCL Institute of Child Health
Supervisor: Prof Phil Beales
2005 - 2010 Post-doc, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford
Supervisor: Prof Andrew Wilkie FRS
2002 - 2005 PhD in Molecular Medicine, UCL: "The Genetics of Human Renal Tract Malformations"
Supervisor: Prof Adrian Woolf. Examiner: Prof Patrick Maxwell
1999 - 2002 BSc in Genetics, University College London

In addition to the Journal publications listed, the following book chapters have been authored:

1) Jenkins D, Beales PL. 174 | CILIOPATHIES. In Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics. 6th edition. 2013. Eds Korf B, Pyeritz R, Rimoin D. Elsevier.

2) Woolf AS, Jenkins D. Chapter 2. Development of the kidney. In Heptinstall's Pathology of the Kidney. 7th edition, 2012. Eds Jennette JC, Olson JL, Silva FG, D’Agati V. Lippincott-Raven, Philadelphia-New York, USA.

3) Woolf AS, Jenkins D. Chapter 2. Development of the kidney. In Heptinstall's Pathology of the Kidney. 6th edition, 2006. Eds Jennette JC, Olson JL, Schwartz MM, Silva FG. Lippincott-Raven, Philadelphia-New York, USA.

Research Themes
Research Summary

The main focus of our lab is to investigate the pathogenesis and treatment of skeletal ciliopathies. Ciliopathies, which affect ~1 in 1000 people and are caused by abnormal formation or function of cilia (microtubular protrusions present on the surface of most cells within the body), include a number of important human diseases such as renal cystic disease, obesity and retinal degeneration. A subset of ciliopathies, such as Jeune, Carpenter and Sensenbrenner syndromes, also feature particular skeletal involvement. Unlike classical ciliopathies, these so-called ‘skeletal ciliopathies’ are typically caused by mutations in genes encoding ciliary trafficking proteins, including core components of intraflagellar transport (IFT) and vesicle transport machinery. 


One of the main interests of our lab is therefore to investigate the mechanisms that regulate ciliary trafficking. We are currently using tandem-affinity purification (TAP) and stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) to identify novel ciliary trafficking proteins, and high-throughput microscopy-based small molecule screens to identify compounds that target ciliary trafficking, and which may be relevant for therapy.


Another active area of research focuses on neural crest cells (NCCs). There is growing evidence that cilia are present on the surface of NCCs and their derivatives, and skeletal ciliopathies may be caused by abnormal NCC development. The hypothesis that we are currently testing is that factors that influence NCC identity or migration may be targeted for treatment of ciliopathies and other NCC-derived defects (including specific tumours). Chemical and genetic screening is undertaken to identify novel genes and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs that influence NCC development in zebrafish embryos, and these factors are tested for their ability to treat skeletal ciliopathies (e.g. craniosynostosis) in model organisms and to inhibit growth of NCC-derived tumour cell lines.

Teaching Summary

Research student supervision at PhD level, together with supervision of laboratory and library projects for MSc and BSc students at UCL and beyond. 


I lecture annually on the functional investigation of human disease genes:

i) MRes in Biomedicine 'Foundations in Biomedical Sciences' module, UCL. 


Academic Background
2006 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Molecular Medicine University College London
2002 BSc Bachelor of Science – Genetics University College London
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