Please note: This page was last updated in November 2011.
The Genes to cognition group moved to the University of Edinburgh in November 2011. We are maintaining this page as a historical record of the group's research at the Sanger Institute. To find out the latest about the group's research, please visit the Genes to Cognition website.
The team, headed by Seth Grant, examines the effect of knocking out specific genetic functions on the molecular architecture of the synapse, the junction between adjacent nerve cells in the brain, in the mouse and relating this information back to man. Synapse junctions are large, complex molecular structures that perform important functions ranging from transmitting nerve impulses to decoding the patterns of electrical activity and translating that information into behaviour and memory. The team uses a broad integrated approach that draws on the many specialties of modern molecular genetics, from highly specific genetic manipulation techniques to complex computational programming and analysis of large quantities of data. Understanding how minor changes in gene sequence affect the molecules that comprise the synapse junction, will aid in the understanding of brain diseases such as Alzheimers, and of mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia.