Jennifer Meadows is a senior research scientist and group leader in comparative genomics at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research involves the evaluation of genome homology, composition, organisation and function, both within and across the species border, and her research team leverages these analyses to dissect and functionally characterise the natural variation in genome structure and regulation that lead to heritable complex disease. Jennifer has a particular interest in disease that impacts the innate and acquired immune systems, and believes that all species can act as model organisms for each other.
Success in this field requires the development and integration of new technologies and novel data sets. Most recently, Jennifer has been a driver within the Zoonomia Consortium, an international initiative to whole genome sequence, align and extract base-pair resolution metrics from 240 diverse mammals, from the human down to bumblebee bats. Constraint can be used as a signpost for functional regions of the genome, including non-coding regulatory elements hidden to current high throughput scans, or elements yet to be identified in species with less resources than human or mouse. The reference-free nature of the Zoonomia alignment means that the data can be viewed from the perspective of any of the included mammals and is not human centric.
In parallel, Jennifer is a leader of the Dog10K Consortium’s efforts to dissect the functional relevance of natural variation identified through the whole genome sequencing of more than 2,000 canids. This data is contrasted with domestic dog disease or trait cohorts, and putative functional loci subsequently interrogated with the expansive collection of resources developed for humans and other mammalian systems, e.g. genome methylation, 3D genome organisation and tissue panel gene expression, to further dissect the molecular mechanisms of trait presentation, or disease predisposition and progression.
Jennifer received her Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) from the University of Queensland, Australia, and her Ph.D in Genetics from the University of New England, Australia. She held a postdoctoral position at Uppsala University, Sweden, before starting her own research group at that institution in 2013.