Genetic mutations provide the raw material for evolution, they are responsible for heritable disease and driving the development of cancer. Martin is interested in understanding how new DNA sequence changes arise and the consequences of those changes for human health. Many of his insights come from investigating the record of past evolution, using “the light of evolution” to explore the human genome. Since 2010 Martin has been a group leader at the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh. He previously gained research experience at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Cambridge and at the University of Oxford (WTCHG).
In more detail…
Prior to establishing the group in Edinburgh, Martin worked at the EMBL, European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), with Dr Nick Goldman on the application of evolutionary models to understand genome evolution. Before this he was at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, at the University of Oxford, with Professor Richard Mott providing bioinformatics support to multiple research groups and pursuing his own research interests in evolutionary genomics. Martin maintained active participation in the international FANTOM consortium through each of these positions. During his PhD studites, Martin worked with Professor David Porteous on the characterisation of a chromosomal translocation that segregated with major mental illness, contributing to the discovery of the DISC1 gene. He obtained a BSc (hons, 1st) in Genetics from the University of Liverpool.