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Dr. Amy Jayne McKnight - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB


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Our Research

Amy Jayne McKnight

Dr Amy Jayne McKnight

Senior Lecturer

Phone: RGH 90632681 / BCH 90638460

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.

Research Interests

Bioinformatics, Genetics, Epigenetics, Genomics, Transcriptomics, DNA Methylation, Kidney Disease, Rare Disease, Registries, Renal

Research Statement

Research is focused on genomic factors that influence human disease, in particular genetic-epigenetic-transcriptomic associations with kidney disease and rare diseases. We conduct studies on candidate genes, prioritised genetic regions, genome-wide and epigenome-wide screens, along with whole exome/genome sequencing with specific emphasis on MHC, telomere and mitochondrial influences.  Data is derived from individuals recruited as part of multi-centre collections and we participate in multiple mega-consortia projects, including developing and evaluating approaches for data integration from diverse sources.  We also launched an international renal genetics initiative, creating the first chromosome-based maps for renal disease and a contributor-driven database for genes and complex chromosome abnormalities consistently demonstrating renal involvement.

Our laboratories are well equipped for genetic studies, including scanners and next generation sequencing machines; we are a next generation sequencing development site.  This enables me to facilitate projects for many other teams looking at different diseases within and outside QUB.  Whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA-seq and ChIP-Seq for rare and complex disorders, plus bacterial whole genome sequencing are regularly performed.  Whole genome sequencing of 1278 individuals for rare diseases is underway as part of the NI Genomic Medicine Centre with the complementary development of an online information hub and patient-centred pathways.  We hold several registries and are actively engaged in making maximal use of complex genomic information. 


I have an extensive teaching commitment, having developed and co-ordinated six new modules, as well as several new postgraduate courses. Current teaching includes participating in standard setting, exam boards, progress reviews, postgraduate research boards and:

  • Mentoring, Personal and Professional Development Portfolios
  • MED1014: Genes, Molecules and Processes Foundations of Clinical Practice 1; I co-developed the genetic component of this module (three times) and Lecture
  • MED1015: Systems, People and Populations Foundations of Clinical Practice 3; Lecture
  • MED1020: Concepts in People and Populations; Lecture
  • MED1021: Student Selected Component: Lecture
  • Preparation for Practice: Lecture
  • SCM7044/7025: Medical Statistics: Lecture
  • SCM7048: Genomics and Genetics: Designed, Module Coordinator and Lecture
  • SCM7052: Genomics, Cell Biology and Human Disease: Designed, Module Coordinator and Lecture
  • SCM8056: Postgraduate Research Induction: Co-designed and Lecture
  • TPU3008: Integrated Pharmacology: Lecture

I am also the director of postgraduate education and training for the Centre of Public Health, QUB

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Frequent Journals

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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

ID: 31642