#GettingGenomeMe - Genomics Researcher Profiles

Learn more about the work and lives of our genome researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

Rashi Krishna by a loch

Rashi is a PhD student in Dr Ailith Ewing's group at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer and talks about her project using whole genome sequencing datasets to better understand the genomic landscape of uterine cancer and the importance of working in a supportive environment.

Holly Kerr portrait and swimming in a lake

Holly talks about her PhD research screening the Human Druggable Genome for factors affecting SARS-CoV-2 infection, wild swimming, and how working in a coronavirus testing lab during the pandemic has guided her career direction.

Eleanor Conole, rock climbing and portrait

Eleanor discusses her PhD project using multi-omic approaches on population cohort datasets, and those who have inspired and helped her scientific journey to date.

Barry Ryan

Barry is a member of the Biomedical Informatics Group led by Professor Ian Simpson at the School of Informatics, and was awarded a presentation prize at ENGoGS23.

Kitty Sherwood by a fountain

Kitty Sherwood of the Institute of Genetics and Cancer discusses how she uses whole genome sequencing to identify mutations which increase cancer risk and tells us why she has pursued a career in bioinformatics.

Romana Gorjanc sitting on a wall by the sea

Romana Gorjanc, Project Officer for the Fleming Fund Fellowship Scheme, discusses her career so far and her work establishing the Genomics@Edinburgh community.


She discusses the expanding Omega-3 nutrient gap caused by overfishing and climate change, and suggests that microalgae may provide a solution to meet the rising demand from population growth. She also shares her insights on the inevitability of failed experiments in science, and her tea time with David Attenborough, where she learns about his passion for nature conservation.


He talks about studying the genomes of bacterial pathogens to learn how bacteria spread and how they cause disease in humans and animals, the importance of a good experimental design and scientific rigor to ensure optimal use of the ever-increasing amount of data, and how science to him is like solving puzzles every morning.


He talks about how his research could have immediate impact on the detection and treatment of genetic disorders and how this is already of great value in Mendelian disorders, how the field he is working in is still quite new and he is learning how to interpret the results of studies in the context of patient health, and the importance of peer discussion as both ideas and confidence can be gained.


She talks about how she uses large population data sets of thousands of people to identify patterns between genetics, mental health, lifestyle factors, and inflammation, how she can use genome-wide measured data to predict inflammation levels in the blood, and how job insecurity in academia is her least favourite thing about science.


She talks about the bile ducts, tubular structures that carry bile (a fluid involved in digestion) from the liver to the intestine, and how science usually leads where it wants to go, regardless of the original hypothesis, and how she transported a plate of bile duct organoids on a train from Edinburgh to Dundee.


She talks about the quest to better understand sex differences in the omics that could explain why certain diseases are more common, and why some drugs more effective and beneficial, in one sex than the other, how in her childhood she was fascinated by the four-letter code of DNA that programmes life in all its forms, and how she believes that science is a collaborative effort, which is why choosing the right team can be more important than choosing the right organisation.


He talks about his research, which focuses on finding biomarkers in our blood that could help predict who is at risk of getting a particular disease and the hope that his work will help improve health care, the major challenge in his field because the people who participate in health studies do not always represent the wider population, and finally, how he stored sheep brains in his freezer for a public engagement event.


She talks about the importance of better understanding the genetics of disease resistance in aquaculture, as this will help breed more resistant animals and thus reduce the use of drugs to treat them; the challenge of adapting technologies to make advances affordable for most breeders worldwide; and the importance of a supportive work environment and mentor to promote work-life balance.


She tells us that she is currently trying to unravel the molecular mechanisms that determine whether stem cells become somatic or part of the germline, that it is a challenge to adapt genomic and biochemical techniques to small numbers or single cells, and that a passion for science is essential for success and must be cultivated every day.

Eleni Papachristoforou

She talks about how there are currently no effective antifibrotic therapies, her inspiration to become part of a team interested in developing potential therapeutic strategies for patients, the importance of collaboration in science, and the doorway effect, which is very common when our brains are overloaded.


He talks about using the gut microbiome of farmers and their animals in research to combat antimicrobial resistance and the importance of including all stakeholders in discussions, how his main reason for becoming a scientist was to help society, and the importance of having a life outside of academia.

She talks about the rare type of cancer called cholangiocarcinoma, how one of the biggest challenges in her research is that patients are often diagnosed at a late stage with locally advanced or metastatic cancer, the excitement of her work exploring how our bodies function in health and disease, and an inspiring research expedition in deep-sea volcanic ecosystems in the Southwest Pacific in which she participated.


She talks about using computational approaches to integrate and extract information from data sets, the thrill of being the first person to see your data in a new light, and catching earthworms late at night in a random field in Germany.

She talks about how she bridges the gap between scientists and dog breeders to help them breed healthier puppies, how she participated in an experiment in Croatia using bees to detect bombs, which landed her on the cover of the magazine, and how misinformation is one of the biggest challenges of our time.

She talks about the challenges in livestock genomics, how to translate information from research into practise and make science accessible to those who need it most, how grateful she is to work with great and helpful colleagues, and what inspired her to become a dry lab scientist.

She talks about how falsified antimicrobials increase mortality and morbidity due to treatment failures, whether the biological profiles of these antimicrobials she is working on can help local authorities narrow down geographic distribution, the challenges of incomplete databases, and the importance of work-life balance.

He talks about how genome-wide and environmental factors influence human polygenic traits, how the social environment (e.g., family, partner ) can affect phenotype but its effects are usually ignored in genomic analyses, the underrepresentation of non-European populations in human genetics research, and the "publish or perish" culture in academia.

She talks about her work to disentangle the interaction between viruses and hosts, focusing on understanding how embryos vs adults defend from infections, the challenges of translating research findings into practise, and the importance of learning from the people who support you so you can succeed in your career.

She talks about developing and implementing methods to diagnose infections and predict antimicrobial resistance directly from veterinary patient samples using nanopore DNA sequencing, how the tests she is developing for veterinarians can be applied to humans, and the possibility that your own infection could be diagnosed by DNA sequencing in the future.

She talks about her current project working with NHS Scotland Clinical Genetics Service to diagnose children with rare developmental disorders, how working as a software developer became boring for her, the importance of getting a feel for the culture of the lab and the institute before applying for a PhD, and how she investigated her in-laws' genotyping results at one of the commercial services.

She talks about how glia brain cells are just as important as neurons for normal brain function, that she wants her research to contribute to a better understanding of how human brain cells change with age so that we can prevent or treat loss of function, and that we should overcome the separation between disciplines and work more closely together.

He talks about the founding of Genomics@Edinburgh, the importance and challenges in microbiome/metagenome research, the unusual gift he received, and the importance of being a good writer in academia.