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Department of Biochemistry profile

Dr Megan Leask

PositionHonorary Research Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Pathology (Dunedin)
Iwi affiliationKāi Tahu
Research summaryAssigning function to genetic variants associated with metabolic traits

Research

My research projects aim to assign function to genetic variants that are associated with health and disease using bioinformatics, zebrafish and cell assays. I also work with Māori and Pacific genetic data to identify clinically-relevant genetic variants that are unique to Māori and Pacific people. The long-term outcomes of this work has the potential to reduce health disparities and improve genetic equity in these population groups.

Publications

Lupi, A. S., Sumpter, N. A., Leask, M. P., O'Sullivan, J., Fadason, T., de los Campos, G., Merriman, T. R., … Vazquez, A. I. (2022). Local genetic covariance between serum urate and kidney function estimated with Bayesian multitrait models. Genes Genomes Genetics, jkac158. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/g3journal/jkac158

Sumpter, N. A., Takei, R., Leask, M. P., Reynolds, R. J., & Merriman, T. R. (2022). Genetic association studies of the progression from hyperuricaemia to gout. Rheumatology, 61, e139-e140. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keac011

Wang, K., Cadzow, M., Bixley, M., Leask, M. P., Merriman, M. E., Yang, Q., … Takei, R., Phipps-Green, A., Major, T. J., Topless, R., … Stamp, L. K., … Merriman, T. R. (2022). A Polynesian-specific copy number variant encompassing the MHC Class I Polypeptide-related Sequence A (MICA) gene associates with gout. Human Molecular Genetics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddac094

Leask, M., Carleton, C., Leeke, B., Newman, T., Antoun, J., Farella, M., & Horsfield, J. (2021). Riboceine rescues auranofin-induced craniofacial defects in zebrafish. Antioxidants, 10, 1964. doi: 10.3390/antiox10121964

Leask, M. P., & Merriman, T. R. (2021). The genetic basis of urate control and gout: Insights into molecular pathogenesis from follow-up study of genome-wide association study loci. Best Practice & Research: Clinical Rheumatology, 101721. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2021.101721

Lupi, A. S., Sumpter, N. A., Leask, M. P., O'Sullivan, J., Fadason, T., de los Campos, G., Merriman, T. R., … Vazquez, A. I. (2022). Local genetic covariance between serum urate and kidney function estimated with Bayesian multitrait models. Genes Genomes Genetics, jkac158. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/g3journal/jkac158

Journal - Research Article

Wang, K., Cadzow, M., Bixley, M., Leask, M. P., Merriman, M. E., Yang, Q., … Takei, R., Phipps-Green, A., Major, T. J., Topless, R., … Stamp, L. K., … Merriman, T. R. (2022). A Polynesian-specific copy number variant encompassing the MHC Class I Polypeptide-related Sequence A (MICA) gene associates with gout. Human Molecular Genetics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddac094

Journal - Research Article

Leask, M. P., & Merriman, T. R. (2021). The genetic basis of urate control and gout: Insights into molecular pathogenesis from follow-up study of genome-wide association study loci. Best Practice & Research: Clinical Rheumatology, 101721. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2021.101721

Journal - Research Article

Leask, M., Carleton, C., Leeke, B., Newman, T., Antoun, J., Farella, M., & Horsfield, J. (2021). Riboceine rescues auranofin-induced craniofacial defects in zebrafish. Antioxidants, 10, 1964. doi: 10.3390/antiox10121964

Journal - Research Article

Leask, M., Lovegrove, M., Romeril, A., Duncan, E., & Dearden, P. (2021). Evolution and genomic organization of the insect sHSP gene cluster and coordinate regulation in phenotypic plasticity. BMC Ecology & Evolution, 21, 154. doi: 10.1186/s12862-021-01885-8

Journal - Research Article

Mandal, A. K., Leask, M. P., Estiverne, C., Choi, H. K., Merriman, T. R., & Mount, D. B. (2021). Genetic and physiological effects of insulin on human urate homeostasis. Frontiers in Physiology, 12, 713710. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.713710

Journal - Research Article

Topless, R. K., Phipps-Green, A., Leask, M., Dalbeth, N., Stamp, L. K., Robinson, P. C., & Merriman, T. R. (2021). Gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and the risk of death related to coronavirus disease 2019: An analysis of the UK Biobank. ACR Open Rheumatology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/acr2.11252

Journal - Research Article

Boocock, J., Leask, M., Okada, Y., Asian Genetic Epidemiology Network (AGEN) Consortium, Matsuo, H., Shi, Y., … Cadzow, M., Gosling, A. L., Major, T. J., Horsfield, J. A., … Merriman, T. R. (2020). Genomic dissection of 43 serum urate-associated loci provides multiple insights into molecular mechanisms of urate control. Human Molecular Genetics, 29(6), 923-943. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddaa013

Journal - Research Article

Duncan, E. J., Leask, M. P., & Dearden, P. K. (2020). Genome architecture facilitates phenotypic plasticity in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Molecular Biology & Evolution, 37(7), 1964-1978. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msaa057

Journal - Research Article

Leask, M. P., Sumpter, N. A., Lupi, A. S., Vazquez, A. I., Reynolds, R. J., Mount, D. B., & Merriman, T. R. (2020). The shared genetic basis of hyperuricemia, gout, and kidney function. Seminars in Nephrology, 40(6), 586-599. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2020.12.002

Journal - Research Article

Leask, M., Dowdle, A., Salvesen, H., Topless, R., Fadason, T., Wei, W., … Marsman, J., Antony, J., … Merriman, T. R., & Horsfield, J. A. (2019). Functional urate-associated genetic variants influence expression of lincRNAs LINC01229 and MAFTRR. Frontiers in Genetics, 9, 733. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00733

Journal - Research Article

Panfilio, K. A., Vargas Jentzsch, I. M., Benoit, J. B., Erezyilmaz, D., Suzuki, Y., Colella, S., … Duncan, E. J., … Cridge, A. G., … Dearden, P. K., … Leask, M., … Lovegrove, M. R., … Tidswell, O., … Richards, S. (2019). Molecular evolutionary trends and feeding ecology diversification in the Hemiptera, anchored by the milkweed bug genome. Genome Biology, 20, 64. doi: 10.1186/s13059-019-1660-0

Journal - Research Article

Cukrov, D., Newman, T., Leask, M., Leeke, B., Sarogni, P., Patimo, A., … Horsfield, J., & Musio, A. (2018). Antioxidant treatment ameliorates phenotypic features of SMC1A-mutated Cornelia de Lange syndrome in vitro and in vivo. Human Molecular Genetics, 27(17), 3002-3011. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy203

Journal - Research Article

Ketharnathan, S., Leask, M., Boocock, J., Phipps-Green, A. J., Antony, J., O'Sullivan, J. M., Merriman, T. R., & Horsfield, J. A. (2018). A non-coding genetic variant maximally associated with serum urate levels is functionally linked to HNF4A-dependent PDZK1 expression. Human Molecular Genetics, 27(22), 3964-3973. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy295

Journal - Research Article

Cabout, S., Leask, M. P., Varghese, S., Yi, J., Peters, B., Conze, L. L., … Brownfield, L. (2017). The meiotic regulator JASON utilizes alternative translation initiation sites to produce differentially localized forms. Journal of Experimental Botany, 68(15), 4205-4217. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erx222

Journal - Research Article

Stayner, C., Poole, C. A., McGlashan, S. R., Pilanthananond, M., Brauning, R., Markie, D., … Slobbe, L., … Parker, K., Wiles, A., … Leichter, A., Leask, M., … Jennings, M., Horsfield, J. A., Walker, R. J., & Eccles, M. R. (2017). An ovine hepatorenal fibrocystic model of a Meckel-like syndrome associated with dysmorphic primary cilia and TMEM67 mutations. Scientific Reports, 7, 1601. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01519-4

Journal - Research Article

Cridge, A. G., Leask, M. P., Duncan, E. J., & Dearden, P. K. (2015). What do studies of insect polyphenisms tell us about nutritionally-triggered epigenomic changes and their consequences? Nutrients, 7(3), 1787-1797. doi: 10.3390/nu7031787

Journal - Research Article

Sadd, B. M., Barribeau, S. M., Bloch, G., de Graaf, D. C., Dearden, P., Elsik, C. G., … Cridge, A. G., … Duncan, E., … Irvine, F., … Leask, M., Lockett, G. A., … Nair, A., … Blommaert, J., … Worley, K. C. (2015). The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization. Genome Biology, 16, 76. doi: 10.1186/s13059-015-0623-3

Journal - Research Article

Duncan, E. J., Leask, M. P., & Dearden, P. K. (2013). The pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) genome encodes two divergent early developmental programs. Developmental Biology, 377, 262-274. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.01.036

Journal - Research Article

Sumpter, N. A., Takei, R., Leask, M. P., Reynolds, R. J., & Merriman, T. R. (2022). Genetic association studies of the progression from hyperuricaemia to gout. Rheumatology, 61, e139-e140. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keac011

Journal - Research Other

Macaulay, E. C., Donovan, E. L., Leask, M. P., Bloomfield, F. H., Vickers, M. H., Dearden, P. K., … and on behalf of the Gravida International College Summit Team. (2014). The importance of early life in childhood obesity and related diseases: A report from the 2014 Gravida Strategic Summit. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health & Disease, 5(6), 398-407. doi: 10.1017/S2040174414000488

Journal - Research Other

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