Dr. Carole Sargent University of Cambridge, UK3 Talks
After a peripatetic schooling, as the child of a member of the armed forces, Carole Sargent studied Biochemistry at St. Peter’s College Oxford followed by a DPhil in the MRC Immunochemistry Unit. The doctoral studies were inspired by a final year project investigating the DNA sequence differences between known protein... read morevariants of the complement component Factor B, back at a time when neither a reference genome, nor the respective protein sequences were available. This led to a thesis based on an investigation of the structure and gene content of the MHC Class III region, using genome walking, CpG island identification, and mRNA sequencing of some of the genes highlighted by this approach. Subsequently, Dr. Sargent worked in Cambridge at the Department of Pathology, and spent several years with PIC (the Pig Improvement Company, part of Genus Plc.). Many early projects focussed around the construction of comparative maps of regions of the human X and Y chromosomes, identifying novel X and Y loci, and determining their potential contributions to known genetic diseases. The approaches developed in the field of human molecular biology were then applied to the pig genome, culminating in the current reference genomic build which includes both of the porcine sex chromosomes. Current and ongoing interests include the identification of novel pathogenic variants in the genomes of sex reversed individuals, and working with colleagues in Ghana to understand the genetic profiles of local African pigs, which are potentially endangered by indiscriminate cross breeding with imported animals from other parts of the world.