Professor Lorna Harries holds a personal chair in Molecular Genetics at the University of Exeter Medical School. She gained her PhD in Genetics from University College London in November 1994 and has worked at a number of institutions including the University of Dundee and the University of Sussex.
Lorna relocated to the South West of England in 2001 and established the RNA-mediated disease mechanisms group at the University of Exeter Medical School in 2006. Her group has interests in Omics approaches to the study of human ageing and age-related disease processes in man with a specific current focus on alternative messenger RNA processing, non-coding RNA and epigenetic gene regulation.
Her work ranges from ‘big data’ approaches (whole genome transcriptomics and epigenetics) to detailed individual molecular analysis of particular genes and encompasses assessment of effects at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels. Her group were the first to report dysregulation of splicing regulators in association with ageing and longevity in human populations, as well as in human models of cellular ageing and in animal models.
The Harries team subsequently demonstrated that targeting splicing regulation using small molecules or targeted genetic interventions was able to reverse features of cellular senescence in human cell systems and highlights splicing regulation as a potential point of therapeutic traction for age-related diseases.