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Prof. John Quinn

Professor and Chair of Neurobiology

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Institute of Systems, Molecular & Integrative Biology
University of Liverpool
L69 3GE

Professor John Quinn has a BSc Hons degree in Molecular Biology and a PhD in Virology both from the University of Glasgow. He worked at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland USA and Medical Research Council Brain Metabolism Unit in Edinburgh before moving to academia at the University of Edinburgh as Lecturer and subsequently Reader. He then moved to his current position as Chair of Neurobiology at the University of Liverpool in 2001.


His team utilises an integrated research approach to improve our understanding of CNS disorders to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy utilising the latest development in genomic analysis.  He has a broad background in neurogenetics, with a track record of success in the identification of genetic causes and contributors to diseases such as Depression, Schizophrenia, Parkinson’s Disease and Motor Neuron Disease.  He has published in the region of 200 peer reviewed research articles on a range of topics most noticeably on defining how genetic variation is functionally involved in disease risk and progression.  More recently and pertinent for TONiC he has been integrating biological measures upon clinical data to predict progression of neurodegenerative diseases.  His team's work is integrated into major international consortia on Parkinson’s Disease and Motor Neuron Disease respectively in the International Parkinson’s Disease Genomic Consortium and Project MinE.  


One of the major contributions to science is demonstration of the importance of regulatory DNA in our genome rather than which codes for proteins as being at the heart of many neurological and psychiatric conditions. This has clarified how both life events and our own genetics function together to shape our biology both for better or worse, the latter resulting in clinical symptoms. This is an area we will focus on within the TONiC study. 

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