Amy Jayne McKnight
    Phone: RGH 90632681 / BCH 90638460, +44 (0)28 9097 6359

    For media contact email
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Research Interests

    Bioinformatics, Genetics, Epigenetics, Genomics, Transcriptomics, DNA Methylation, Kidney Disease, Rare Disease, Healthy Ageing, Chronic Diseases, Registries, Renal

    Research Statement

    Research is focused on genomic factors that influence human disease, in particular genetic-epigenetic-transcriptomic associations with kidney disease, diseases common in ageing populations, and rare diseases. We conduct studies on candidate genes, prioritised genetic regions, genome-wide and epigenome-wide screens, along with whole exome/genome sequencing with specific emphasis on MHC, telomere and mitochondrial influences.  Data is derived from individuals recruited as part of multi-centre collections and we participate in multiple mega-consortia projects, including developing and evaluating approaches for data integration from diverse sources.  We also launched an international renal genetics initiative, creating the first chromosome-based maps for renal disease and a contributor-driven database for genes and complex chromosome abnormalities consistently demonstrating renal involvement.

    Our laboratories are well equipped for genetic studies, including scanners and next generation sequencing machines; we are a next generation sequencing development site.  This enables me to facilitate projects for many other teams looking at different diseases within and outside QUB.  Whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA-seq and ChIP-Seq for rare and complex disorders, plus bacterial whole genome sequencing are performed.  We are building the NICOLA ( bioresource, including multi-omic datasets with a focus on older individuals living in NI.  Whole genome sequencing of 1278 individuals for rare diseases is underway as part of the NI Genomic Medicine Centre with the complementary development of an online information hub and patient-centred pathways.  We hold several registries and are actively engaged in making maximal use of complex genomic information. 


    I have an extensive teaching commitment, having developed and co-ordinated six new modules, as well as several new postgraduate courses. Current teaching includes participating in standard setting, exam boards, progress reviews, postgraduate research boards and:

    • Mentoring, Personal and Professional Development Portfolios
    • MED1014: Genes, Molecules and Processes Foundations of Clinical Practice 1; I co-developed the genetic component of this module (three times) and Lecture
    • BMS2103: I co-developed the genetic component of this year 2 biomedical science module (Cell Biology and Clinical Genetics), which was brand new for 2017-2018, co-coordinate the module, and Lecture. Our BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science Programme has been accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) for a further five years to 2022.
    • MED1015: Systems, People and Populations Foundations of Clinical Practice 3; Lecture
    • MED1020: Concepts in People and Populations; Lecture
    • MED1021: Student Selected Component: Lecture
    • Preparation for Practice: Lecture
    • SCM7044/7025: Medical Statistics: Lecture
    • SCM7048: Genomics and Genetics: Designed, Module Coordinator and Lecture
    • SCM7052: Genomics, Cell Biology and Human Disease: Designed, Module Coordinator and Lecture
    • SCM8095: Genomics and Human Disease: Designed, Module Coordinator and Lecture.  This module has run across the MRes in Translational Medicine and MSc in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, which has been shortlisted for the gradireland Higher Education Awards as Postgraduate Course of the Year in Computer Science & Technology  and Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science.
    • SCM8056: Postgraduate Research Induction, Minimising Plagiarism, Differentiation: Co-designed and Lecture
    • TPU3008: Integrated Pharmacology: Lecture

    I am also the director of postgraduate education and training for the Centre of Public Health, QUB

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    Frequent Journals

    • Diabetic Medicine

      ISSNs: 0742-3071

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1464-5491


      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 2.85 SJR 1.515 SNIP 1.225


    • Diabetes

      ISSNs: 0012-1797

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1939-327X

      American Diabetes Association Inc.

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 5.64 SJR 3.636 SNIP 1.796


    • Diabetologia

      ISSNs: 0012-186X

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1432-0428

      Springer Verlag

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 5.79 SJR 3 SNIP 1.752


    • Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

      ISSNs: 1046-6673

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1533-3450

      American Society of Nephrology

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 7.19 SJR 4.597 SNIP 2.358


    • PLoS One

      ISSNs: 1932-6203

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1932-6203

      Public Library of Science

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 3.02 SJR 1.1 SNIP 1.123


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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 31642