We are interested in the ability of variations in oxygen levels and iron availability to influence gene expression and consequently phenotype.
Collaborative work with Professor Peter Robbins has investigated the effects of altering iron availability on erythropoietin gene expression in normal volunteers.
Collaborative work with Professor Alain Townsend's group is investigating effects of iron availability on the expression level of a variety of proteins involved in iron uptake and export by cells. Using samples from patients with normal iron stores and those with iron deficiency we have been able to show variations in the expression of a protein called GDF15, confirming the relevance of in vitro experiments performed in the molecular biology laboratory.
Genetic studies are being performed to investigate the variability between different human populations and different groups of patients in terms of their response to hypoxic stimuli in collaboration with Professor Peter Robbins in the University Laboratory of Physiology and Dr Nickol, Clinical Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine at the Osler Chest Unit.