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Gene Structure and Function Laboratory

Research in the Gene Structure and Function Laboratory (GSFL) centres around the role of genetic variation in the development and treatment of disease. Our primary research efforts are currently in pharmacogenomics (the impact of genetic variation on responses to drugs) and the genetics of complex disease.

Our expertise includes biobanking, gene structure and expression analysis, polymorphism discovery and genotyping, DNA sequence analysis (Sanger and next generation methods), exome analysis, tissue culture, proteomics, microarray analysis, and genomics.


Professor Kennedy is a co-investigator on a recent HRC Programme Grant led by Associate Professor John Horwood, of the Christchurch Health and Development Study.

We are exploring genetics and gene by environment effects in this longitudinal study of a large birth cohort of Christchurch volunteers, who have been closely followed for over 30 years.

In collaboration with investigators at Duke University and University of North Carolina (Genes Development and Environment Initiative funded by NIDA), we have obtained SNP chip data on 800 subjects from this cohort, and are interested in collaborative research studies using these data.

Our pharmacogenetics work is a core activity of the Carney Centre for Pharmacogenomics, of which Prof Kennedy is director, and this involves collaborative projects with several investigators located in Christchurch and elsewhere.

We are able to seed small research projects in pharmacogenetics, and welcome approaches from colleagues with an interest in exploring genetic effects on drug responses.

Postgraduate Students

We welcome enquiries from prospective PhD, MSc or BMedSci thesis students.  Scholarship funding may be available for suitably qualified students.

Our lab also teaches into the BBiomedSci(Hons) course, and we are interested in students with a good science degree who wish to apply for our stand-alone, one year research-intensive  honours programme.


Our work is sponsored by the following organisations: