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Contact Details

Pūkeka | Lecturer
Department of Pathology (Dunedin)
Research summary
Assigning function to genetic variants associated with metabolic traits


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.


Wang, Q., McCormick, S., Leask, M. P., Watson, H., O'Sullivan, C., Krebs, J. D., Hall, R., Whitfield, P., Merry, T. L., Murphy, R., & Shepherd, P. R. (2024). A Polynesian-specific SLC22A3 variant associates with low plasma lipoprotein(a) concentrations independent of apo(a) isoform size in men [Brief report]. Bioscience Reports. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1042/BSR20240403 Journal - Research Article

Bernhardt, I., Frajman, L. E., Ryder, B., Andersen, E., Wilson, C., McKeown, C., Anderson, T., … Drake, K. M., Leask, M., Yardley, A.-M., Merriman, T., Robertson, S., … Glamuzina, E. (2024). Further delineation of short chain enoyl-CoA hydratase deficiency in the Pacific population. Molecular Genetics & Metabolism, 142, 108508. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2024.108508 Journal - Research Article

Chuah, M. H., Leask, M. P., Topless, R. K., Gamble, G. D., Sumpter, N. A., Stamp, L. K., Merriman, T. R., & Dalbeth, N. (2024). Interaction of genetic variation at ADH1B and MLXIPL with alcohol consumption for elevated serum urate level and gout among people of European ethnicity. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 26, 45. doi: 10.1186/s13075-024-03279-9 Journal - Research Article

Morice, M., Darroch, H., Horsfield, J., Merriman, T., & Leask, M. (2023). The regulatory landscape of metabolism in Polynesian populations. Proceedings of the Society for Developmental Biology 82nd Annual Meeting. (pp. 7). Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Diermeier, S. D., & Leask, M. P. (2023). History and definitions of ncRNAs. In J. Sztuba-Solinska (Ed.), Navigating non-coding RNA: From biogenesis to therapeutic application. (pp. 1-46). London, UK: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-323-90406-3.00002-6 Chapter in Book - Research

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