Wendy Bickmore

Wendy Bickmore, PhD, is Director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. She is fascinated by the structure and organization of chromatin in the nucleus. Her group showed that different human chromosomes have preferred positions in the nucleus, related to their gene content, and addressed how genes are organized and packaged in the nucleus and how they move in the cell cycle and during development. She demonstrated that the polycomb repressive complex functions by compacting higher-order chromatin at target loci. Current research in Wendy Bickmore’s laboratory focuses on how the spatial organization of the nucleus influences genome function in development and disease, including how enhancers communicate with their target gene promoters. Wendy is an EMBO member, a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was the president of the Genetics Society of Great Britain from 2015 to 2018. She is an editor on many journals including PLoS Genetics and Cell.

Recent publications:

Therizols P, et al (2014) Chromatin decondensation is sufficient to alter nuclear organization in embryonic stem cells. Science. 346:1238-1242.

Williamson I, et al. (2014) Spatial genome organization: contrasting views from chromosome conformation capture and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Genes Dev. 28:2778-2791.

Illingworth R. et al., (2015) The E3 ubiquitin ligase activity of Ring1B is not essential for early mouse development. Genes Dev. 29:1897-1902.

Pradeepa, M.M. et al. (2016) Histone H3 globular domain acetylation identifies novel enhancers. Nature. Genet. 48: 681-686.

Illingworth, R.S. et al. (2016) Polycomb enables primitive endoderm lineage priming in embryonic stem cells. eLife 5. pii: e14926.

Olley, G. et al. (2018) BRD4 interacts with NIPBL and is mutated in a Cornelia de Lange-like syndrome. Nature Genetics.  doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0042-y.