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Dr. Karen Reed

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Cardiff University, School of Biosciences
Cardiff University, Museum Ave

Brief Biography:

I have worked as a postdoctoral research associate within the group of Prof. Alan Clarke in Cardiff school of Biosciences since Oct 2002. My research utilises a number of clinically relevant, transgenic mouse models of cancer (principally intestinal and liver cancer) with the aim of clarifying or establishing some of the critical molecular events that contribute to the initiation, establishment and progression of cancer. I have an interest in gene resgulation and epigenetics. Prior to moving to Cardiff, I worked within the group of Prof Wolf Reik at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, under whose supervision I also completed a PhD (awarded in Sept 2000). Here my research focused on understanding the epigenetic regulation of the imprinted locus on mouse distal chromosome 7 (a chromosome region involved in foetal overgrowth and cancer susceptibility) and I characterised the molecular basis of, and consequential imprinted phenotype of, the novel radiation-induced mouse mutation Minute (Mnt). I was awarded my BSc honours degree in Applied Biology from the University of Bath in 1996. During my degree course I completed a year’s research in The Institute of Medical Genetics, Cardiff, where I characterised the inheritance of multiple genetic markers within families of Rett syndrome patients (a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder) and refined the genetic map of this disease.

Academic positions:

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associated funded on a 3 year grant from Cancer Research UK to characterise the importance of APC2 on somatic stem cells and intestinal tumourigenesis. I also supervise a Tenovus funded PhD student who is Characterising the role of Cbx3/Hp1 gamma in normal intestinal homeostasis and tumourigenesis

Research interests:

My research interests lie within the field of molecular genetics and gene regulation whilst understanding how aberrant gene expression contributes to the development of neoplasia. I have chosen to work with mouse models of human diseases to facilitate an understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to the initiation, establishment and progression of diseases such as cancer in human. The area I would like to explore more is the importance of imprinted genes (the expression of which is normally strictly regulated, but becomes deregulated at the earliest stages of neoplasia) as a model to investigate factors affecting epigenetic control and the role these factors play in tumourigenesis.

Any other information:

I am a registered STEM ambassador actively involved in science communication and engagement projects both within the School of Biosciences and in my leisure time. I was awarded a gold maximising Impact award 2009/10. It is my ambition to inspire and help the next generation of researchers whilst simultaneously advancing our knowledge in the field of cancer genetics.

What I think of the idea behind WebmedCentral:

The system of post publication peer-review is a great way for scientists to publish their findings and gain valuable feedback about their work. My concern surrounds the lack of the link with pubmed, which is the most widely used search tool for scientific papers. This potentially could reduce the visibility of any work published in WebmedCentral and may discourage authors from publishing here.