Hello there, welcome to the Wright Lab! We are a human genetics research group at the University of Manitoba that uses genomics to understand the brain in health and disease.
We would like to understand why individuals affected by the same neurological disorder can experience differences in disease severity and onset.
Genetic variants that alter the clinical expression of disease-causing mutations are known as genetic modifiers and can help explain differences in disease outcomes. For example, genetic variants in genes from DNA repair pathways influence age-of-onset for several neurological diseases.
We use large-scale bioinformatic analyses to inform functional genomic experiments. This includes using gene editing and human stem-cell-derived neural models to study genetic modifiers of neurological disorders.
Insights obtained from our research can lead to a better understanding of human biology, the identification of therapeutic targets, and improved risk prediction models.
We use both wet and dry lab approaches to understand human biology
• Huntington disease
• Rett syndrome
• Genomic fine mapping
• Single-cell sequencing
• Machine learning
• Human stem cells
• Neural cell culture
• CRISPR gene editing
Territory acknowledgement: Our research group is located on the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to moving forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.
We are primarily affiliated with the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba. Our lab is in the Neuroscience Research Program at the Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine, Health Sciences Centre. We are also affiliated with the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, as well as the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM, ENRRICH theme).
We had a great year-end lab event last week! The group decided on rock climbing - it was really fun and we had the place to ourselves 🧗♀️ Looking forward to more science and collaboration in the New Year!
Galen was invited to present at the European Huntington’s Disease Network (EHDN) 2022 Plenary Meeting, in Bologna, Italy. His talk, HD genomic modifiers: emerging biological, clinical and therapeutic insights, was in the New Genetics of HD session and a link to the recording is available below.
The group received funding ($130,000) for our new project: Identification of causal genetic variants and genes in neuromuscular disorders. We will be using whole genome sequencing paired with gene expression information (RNA-seq) to identify pathogenic mutations in individuals affected by neuromuscular disorders.
The group welcomed two new graduate students to the group at a lab event at the Forks Market! Lucy Namuli will be working on genetic modifiers of repeat expansion disorders using bioinformatic approaches.
The lab was awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant entitled, Genomics of DNA repair in the brain ($152,500). The long-term objective of my research program is to understand the fundamental biology of DNA repair in the brain.