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Dr Michelle Thunders thumbnailBSc (Hons) Human Genetics (UCL), PhD Human Genetics (UCL)

Tel +64 4 918 5740
Email michelle.thunders@otago.ac.nz

Michelle Thunders is a Senior Lecturer in Pathology and Molecular Medicine currently working at the University of Otago, Wellington in the Department of Pathology. She obtained both a BSc (Hons) and PhD in Human Genetics from University College London and has worked in a variety of academic institutions in the UK and in NZ. She is a strong believer in inclusive genetics education and making knowledge accessible, actionable and meaningful to all. Her research interests are in the analysis of sequencing data, both RNA and DNA, to understand health, risk and disease pathogenesis at a molecular level. She is interested in epigenomic biomarkers relative to assessing human health and disease, specifically DNA methylation and whether stressors we are exposed to, both physical and psychological, can have a legacy effect on subsequent generations. This potentially has profound implications in terms of how we assess heritability of disease, health equity and disease risk. Michelle has been using the earthworm as a model organism to explore this hypothesis and over the last two years built up a research network including PhD students and collaborators at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Michelle is currently co-supervising three PhD students.

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Publications

Chinn, V., Neely, E., Shultz, S., Kruger, R., Hughes, R., & Thunders, M. (2021). Empowering women in the face of body ideals: A scoping review of health promotion programs. Health Education & Behavior. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/10901981211050571

Ewers, E., Phipps-Green, A., Merriman, T. R., Thunders, M. C., & Major, T. J. (2021, August). Brothers discordant for gout have differing DNA methylation levels in inflammatory genes. Poster session presented at the New Zealand Rheumatology Association (NZRA) Annual Scientific Meeting, [Online].

Delahunt, B., Eble, J. N., Samaratunga, H., Thunders, M., Yaxley, J. W., & Egevad, L. (2021). Staging of renal cell carcinoma: Current progress and potential advances. Pathology, 53(1), 120-128. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2020.08.007

Franklin, A., Delahunt, B., Egevad, L., Yaxley, J., Johannsen, S., Gianduzzo, T., … Thunders, M., … Samaratunga, H. (2020). Prognostic significance of morphological patterns of Gleason grade 5 prostatic adenocarcinoma diagnosed on needle biopsy. Pathology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2020.10.009

Thunders, M., & Delahunt, B. (2020). Gene of the month: DICER1: Ruler and controller. Journal of Clinical Pathology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2020-207203

Delahunt, B., Eble, J. N., Samaratunga, H., Thunders, M., Yaxley, J. W., & Egevad, L. (2021). Staging of renal cell carcinoma: Current progress and potential advances. Pathology, 53(1), 120-128. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2020.08.007

Journal - Research Article

Filoche, S., Stone, P., Cram, F., Bacharach, S., Dowell, A., Sika-Paotonu, D., … Ormandy, J., … Thunders, M., & Dew, K. (2020). Uncovering social structures and informational prejudices to reduce inequity in delivery and uptake of new molecular technologies. Journal of Medical Ethics, 46, 763-767. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2019-105734

Journal - Research Article

Franklin, A., Delahunt, B., Egevad, L., Yaxley, J., Johannsen, S., Gianduzzo, T., … Thunders, M., … Samaratunga, H. (2020). Prognostic significance of morphological patterns of Gleason grade 5 prostatic adenocarcinoma diagnosed on needle biopsy. Pathology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2020.10.009

Journal - Research Article

Wilson, A. D., Brown, A. E., Turner, C., Zamanpoor, M., Felix, C. A., & Thunders, M. C. (2020). Validation of a pan-cancer targeted next generation sequencing panel in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Medical Laboratory Science, 74, 210-214.

Journal - Research Article

Lu, X., Li, Y., Thunders, M., Matthew, C., Wang, X., Ai, X., … Qiu, J. (2018). Effect of enrofloxacin on the proteome of earthworms. Science of the Total Environment. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.275

Journal - Research Article

Thunders, M., Chinn, V., Bilewitch, J., & Stockwell, P. (2018). Identification of potential 'lifestyle-responsive' epigenomic biomarkers in healthy women aged 18-40. Biomarkers, 23(5), 453-461. doi: 10.1080/1354750x.2018.1443512

Journal - Research Article

Dharmadasa, P., Kim, N., & Thunders, M. (2017). Maternal cadmium exposure and impact on foetal gene expression through methylation changes. Food & Chemical Toxicology, 109(Part 1), 714-720. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2017.09.002

Journal - Research Article

Lu, X., Li, Y., Thunders, M., Cavanagh, J., Matthew, C., Wang, X., … Qiu, J. (2017). Differential protein expression and localization of CYP450 enzymes in three species of earthworm: Is this a reflection of environmental adaptation? Chemosphere, 171, 485-490. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.12.052

Journal - Research Article

Peng, C., Tang, L., Tan, X., Li, Y., Wang, X., Ai, X., … Thunders, M., & Qiu, J. (2017). Heavy metal fractionation after application of fermented sludge to soil and its effect on Sedum lineare. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 26(1-A), 810-822.

Journal - Research Article

Thomas, J. A., Wadsworth, D., Jin, Y., Clarke, J., Page, R., & Thunders, M. (2017). Engagement with online self-tests as a predictor of student success. Higher Education Research & Development, 36(5), 1061-1071. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2016.1263827

Journal - Research Article

Thunders, M., Cavanagh, J., & Li, Y. (2017). De novo transcriptome assembly, functional annotation and differential gene expression analysis of juvenile and adult E. fetida, a model oligochaete used in ecotoxicological studies. Biological Research, 50, 7. doi: 10.1186/s40659-017-0114-y

Journal - Research Article

van Wissen, K., Thunders, M., Mcbride-Henry, K., Ward, M., Krebs, J., & Page, R. (2017). Cardiovascular disease and prediabetes as complex illness: People's perspectives. Nursing Inquiry, 24, e12177. doi: 10.1111/nin.12177

Journal - Research Article

Thunders, M. (2015). Epigenetics: Its understanding is crucial to a sustainable healthcare system. Healthcare, 3(2), 194-204. doi: 10.3390/healthcare3020194

Journal - Research Article

Thunders, M., Jin, Y., Clarke, J., Wadsworth, D., Thomas, J., & Page, R. (2014). Words and pictures: Back to basics for effective learning in the health sciences. International Journal of Research in Education Methodology, 5(3), 673-679.

Journal - Research Article

Somdee, T., Thunders, M., Ruck, J., Lys, I., Allison, M., & Page, R. (2013). Degradation [Dha7]MC-LR by a microcystin degrading bacterium isolated from Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand. ISRN Microbiology, 2013, 596429. doi: 10.1155/2013/596429

Journal - Research Article

Holmes, C., McCulley, M., Nicoll, J. A. R., Alder, J. T., Chen, C. P. L.-H., & Francis, P. T. (2007). Genetic variation in the 5-HT2A receptor and altered neocortical [3H] ketanserin binding in Alzheimer's disease. Neuroscience Letters, 420(1), 58-60. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.04.009

Journal - Research Article

Holmes, C., Ballard, C., Lehmann, D., Smith, D. A., Beaumont, H., Day, I. N., … McCulley, M., … Warden, D. (2005). Rate of progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease: Effect of butyrylcholinesterase K gene variation. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 76(5), 640-643. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2004.039321

Journal - Research Article

McCulley, M. C., Day, I. N. M., & Holmes, C. (2004). Association between interleukin 1-β promoter (-511) polymorphism and depressive symptoms in Alzheimer's disease. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B, 124 B(1), 50-53. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.20086

Journal - Research Article

Wolfe, J., Jeremiah, S., Young, J., Burley, M. W., Stewart, H., McCulley, M., … Povey, S. (1997). Mapping ESTs to the TSC1 candidate interval by use of the ‘Science 96’ transcript map. Annals of Human Genetics, 61(5), 401-409. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-1809.1997.6150401.x

Journal - Research Article

Chinn, V., Neely, E., Shultz, S., Kruger, R., Hughes, R., & Thunders, M. (2021). Empowering women in the face of body ideals: A scoping review of health promotion programs. Health Education & Behavior. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/10901981211050571

Journal - Research Other

Thunders, M., & Delahunt, B. (2020). Gene of the month: DICER1: Ruler and controller. Journal of Clinical Pathology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2020-207203

Journal - Research Other

Thunders, M., & Delahunt, B. (2020). Gene of the month: TMPRSS2 (transmembrane serine protease 2). Journal of Clinical Pathology, 73, 773-776. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2020-206987

Journal - Research Other

Delahunt, B., Eble, J. N., Egevad, L., Yaxley, J., Thunders, M., & Samaratunga, H. (2019). Emerging entities of renal cell neoplasia. Surgical & Experimental Pathology, 2, 10. doi: 10.1186/s42047-019-0035-x

Journal - Research Other

Henry, C., Filoche, S., Thunders, M., Kenwright, D., & Ekeroma, A. (2019). Reflection on the current status of endometrial cancer in New Zealand. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 59, 874-876. doi: 10.1111/ajo.13057

Journal - Research Other

Thunders, M., Holley, A., Harding, S., Stockwell, P., & Larsen, P. (2019). Using NGS-methylation profiling to understand the molecular pathogenesis of young MI patients who have subsequent cardiac events [Brief report]. Epigenetics, 14(6), 536-544. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2019.1605815

Journal - Research Other

Li, Y., Jiang, M., Thunders, M., Ai, X., & Qiu, J. (2018). Effect of enrofloxacin and roxarsone on CYP450s in pig. Research in Veterinary Science, 117, 97-98. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2017.11.014

Journal - Research Other

Castro, N., Faulkner, J., Skidmore, P., Williams, M., Lambrick, D. M., Signal, L., Thunders, M., … Stoner, L. (2014). Pre-adolescent cardio-metabolic associations and correlates: PACMAC methodology and study protocol. BMJ Open, 4(9), e005815. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005815

Journal - Research Other

Thunders, M., Mangai, S., & Cooper, R. (2013). Nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics and the future of dietary advice. Food & Nutrition Sciences, 4(10), 999-1003. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.410129

Journal - Research Other

Engelborghs, S., Holmes, C., McCulley, M., & De Deyn, P. P. (2004). 5-HT2A receptor polymorphism may modulate antipsychotic treatment response in Alzheimer's disease. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 1108-1109. doi: 10.1002/gps.1179

Journal - Research Other

Jin, Y., Thunders, M., & Page, R. (2013). Using a glossary random entry tool on moodle online learning sites to improve students’ engagement: A pilot study. In M. Gosper, J. Hedberg & H. Carter (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference on Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE). (pp. 438-441). [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Thunders, M., Jing, Y., & Page, R. (2013). The language of science: An online animated tool for learning the vocabulary used in the health sciences. In M. Gosper, J. Hedberg & H. Carter (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference on Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE). (pp. 875-878). [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Kenwright, D., Kuruppu, N., Cornwall, J., Print, C., Lints, T., Filoche, S., Thunders, M., & Grainger, R. (2020). Integrating a 2020 genomics curriculum within extant curricula. Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) Conference. (pp. 44). Retrieved from https://anzahpe.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Chinn, V., Shultz, S., Page, R., Coad, J., Kruger, R., & Thunders, M. (2016). Next level health: An integrated health programme using multiple behaviour change to develop a balanced health practice for women. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 23(Suppl. 1), (pp. S77-S78). doi: 10.1007/s12529-016-9586-3

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Thunders, M. C., & Chinn, V. A. (2016). The epigenomic impact of a 6 month health intervention on women aged 18-40. Proceedings of the Society of Toxicology Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology Meeting: Toxicoepigenetics. 35. Retrieved from https://www.toxicology.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Chinn, V., Cornwall, J., Thunders, M., Orta, O., & Stoner, L. (2014). Influence of gender on the reliability of central adiposity measurements using B-mode ultrasound. New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(2), (pp. 88). [Abstract]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Thunders, M. (2014). Epigenetics and the role exercise plays. New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(2), (pp. 83). [Abstract]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Thunders, M., Kim, N., & Page, R. (2014). Sex, worms, genes and cadmium. Proceedings of the New Zealand Trace Elements Group Conference. (pp. 42). Retrieved from http://www.tracenz.org/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Engelborghs, S., Holmes, C., McCulley, M., & De Deyn, P. P. (2004). 5-HT2A receptor polymorphism may modulate antipsychotic treatment response in Alzheimer's disease. European Journal of Neurology, 11(Suppl. 2), (pp. 183). doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2004.00920.x

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Ewers, E., Phipps-Green, A., Merriman, T. R., Thunders, M. C., & Major, T. J. (2021, August). Brothers discordant for gout have differing DNA methylation levels in inflammatory genes. Poster session presented at the New Zealand Rheumatology Association (NZRA) Annual Scientific Meeting, [Online].

Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Thunders, M. C., Chinn, V., & Page, R. (2016, April). The epigenetic impact of a 6 month lifestyle intervention programme on women aged 18-40. Poster session presented at the 13th International Congress of Human Genetics, Kyoto, Japan.

Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Van Wissen, K. A., Thunders, M. C., McBride-Henry, K. S., Ward, M. A., Krebs, J. D., Harding, S. A., & Page, R. A. (2014, May). Complex illness: The experiences of people with cardiovascular disease also found to have prediabetes. Poster session presented at the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes (NZSSD) Annual Scientific Meeting, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Thunders, M., & Chinn, V. (2017, September). Revealing the invisible impact of lifestyle change (using epigenomic studies to determine molecular impact). Verbal presentation at the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine Conference, Sydney, Australia.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Thunders, M. (2016, September). Are epigenomic studies useful for health promotion? Verbal presentation at the School of Public Heatlh Symposium, Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Thunders, M. (2015, November-December). School children as health advisors. Verbal presentation at the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

More publications...

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