Summer 2021

It’s been a busy term in the GEL lab, with several members attending the world renowned International Statistical Genetics Workshop, hosted by the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Boulder, Colorado. The workshop was held online this year and included training in both genomic and structural equation modeling based methods. More information on the workshop can be found here

Recent research findings from the GEL lab were presented at the Behavior Genetics Association online conference. Aislinn, Ana Maria, Emma and Laura gave poster presentations, and Chloe gave a talk on her recent meta-analysis on the heritability of infant traits.

The GEMS study was kickstarted in the GEL lab in May! GEMS, short for the Genetics of Early Milestones and Skills, is being led by Professor Angelica Ronald and is funded by the Simons Foundation and the ESRC. Dr Anna Gui is leading the analyses on GEMS, which is to investigate the common genetic architecture underlying infant milestones and skills. Welcome Anna!

Curious about how differences in our DNA impact how we think, feel and behave? Dr Emma Meaburn gave a lecture on this topic as part of Birkbeck’s School of Science ‘Science Saturdays’ series of free online talks. The talk is aimed at a general audience, is family friendly and available here on Birkbeck’s YouTube channel.

A South London primary school ran a ‘Science Showcase’ week in May designed to introduce children to a variety of STEM careers. Dr Emma Meaburn spoke to ~150 year 6 pupils about her experiences as a scientist at Birkbeck, and led an interactive ‘genetics of taste’ experiment with them.

Dr Meaburn’s and GEL-lab member Dr Anna Gui’s SFARI funded work on the link between polygenic genetic liability and infants brain responses to faces was published in JAMA Paediatrics .The news report on the research can be read here.