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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


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Academic background
Health Sciences, Sciences
Host campus
Pathology and Biomedical Science (Christchurch)
Professor Martin Kennedy


Our laboratory has pioneered various applications of a novel DNA sequencing device, called the MinION, that operates by passing DNA or RNA through nanopores, and is capable of generating very long reads of nucleic acid sequences. This device is proving of value for one of our key research interests, examining the impact of genetic variation on drug response – an area known as pharmacogenetics.

The liver enzyme CYP2D6 is responsible for metabolism or activation of many therapeutic drugs including some used for treating depression, pain, heart conditions and cancer. The gene for this enzyme shows a great degree of variability, with many people lacking functional copies of the gene altogether.

Our lab and others have shown that people who suffer adverse drug reactions can often have mutations in their CYP2D6 gene. We are interested in examining the full length gene in people who have suffered adverse drug reactions, using a novel nanopore DNA sequencing device capable of reading very long DNA molecules. This project would involve a mix of laboratory work and bioinformatic analyses.

Preferred student expertise

Prefer some laboratory experience, and either genetics or computational expertise (or both).

Further information

This project is one of the many available at the University of Otago, Christchurch campus.

Visit the University of Otago, Christchurch website for more information about the Honours programme.

Visit the Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science (University of Otago, Christchurch) website
Visit the Gene Structure and Function Laboratory website
Visit the Carney Centre for Pharmacogenomics website

Professor Martin Kennedy's staff profile


Professor Martin Kennedy
Tel +64 3 364 0590

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