Research at the Carney Centre is carried out in several collaborating groups:
- Gene Structure and Function Laboratory
Director: Professor Martin Kennedy
- The Clinical Pharmacology Research Group
Director: Professor Evan Begg
Our Current key projects
UDRUGS – Understanding adverse Drug Reactions or responses Using Genome Sequencing
This project has dual aims: 1. We are developing a biobank of DNA and clinical data from patients who have suffered rare, serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs), to enable research into such ADRs; 2. We are applying various methods including Sanger and next generation DNA sequencing, as well as exome analysis, to explore possible genetic factors that predispose patients to serious ADRs. PhD student Kim Ton and Postdoctoral Fellow Simran Maggo, are carrying out genetic analyses on UDRUGS subjects. This work is a collaboration with A/Prof Matt Doogue and colleagues, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch.
Pharmacogenomics of mood stabilisers
PhD student Priyanka Sinha is extending our research of examining the effects of drugs used in treatment of bipolar disorder and other conditions, in a cell culture model (cell line RN46A). She has focussed on the effects of valproic acid and lithium on regulation of genes in the tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) pathway.
Genetics of drug addiction
As part of the Genes, Environment, Development Initiative (GEDI) funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) USA, and in collaboration with Dr Jane Costello (Duke University) and Dr Patrick Sullivan (University of North Carolina), we have obtained gene chip (Illumina 660W Quad) SNP genotype data on 780 participants of the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS). These data are primarily being used to investigate genetic and environmental influences on addiction, but we are also interested in other collaborative studies that might make use of this body of data and the longitudinal information collected over 30 years for the CHDS.
We do have occasional PhD opportunities, and are happy to consider supporting applications from prospective students for University and Government scholarships in pharmacogenomics research.
Please contact Professor Martin Kennedy in the first instance.